MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Three car bombs by Islamic extremists exploded outside a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, causing many civilian casualties, said police.
The blasts appeared to be suicide bombs that detonated near the perimeter wall of the Sahafi Hotel, which is located across the street from the Somali Police Force's Criminal Investigations Department, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.
Somali security forces shot dead four gunmen who tried to storm into the hotel, but they did not succeed, he said.
There could be significant casualties from the explosions, said Hussein. Witnesses said there are many bodies in the street.
Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the bombs, according to the group's Adalus radio station.
Guled reported from Nairobi, Kenya.