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Somalia: At least 20 dead in Mogadishu blasts


Two car bombs in separate parts of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu killed at least 22 people on Saturday and injured several others, police said.

The first explosion took place in in the city’s K5 Junction area which is lined with government offices, hotels, and restaurants killing at least 20 while the other took place in the city’s Madina district killing two people.

“We know that at least 20 civilians are dead while dozens of others are wounded,” Abdullahi Nur, a police officer who was in the area, told Reuters news agency.

The explosion was followed by gunfire between security forces and armed men around and inside the popular Safari Hotel, Al Jazeera reports.

“The fighters first detonated a bomb outside the hotel’s gate, and then about four gunmen on foot gained entry into the hotel and started shooting at the patrons and also the security of the hotel,” Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow, reporting from Doha, said.

On Sunday morning, police said rescue operations were underway to retrieve people trapped under the rubble of a hotel that was largely destroyed in the first explosion. It was the largest heard in Mogadishu in recent memory.

There has been no claim of responsibility, although the Islamist group al Shabaab often carries out attacks in Mogadishu.

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