Death toll from Mogadishu bombings jumps to over 40

Death toll from Mogadishu bombings jumps to over 40

Mogadishu has jumped at least 41, police said on Saturday.

Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda, United States Al-Qaeda affiliate which has been fighting against the internationally-backed Somali government for over a decade.

Twin car bombs exploded within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the sky.

The blast occurred near the Sahafi hotel and Criminal Investigation Division (CID).

Parliament speaker Mohamed Mursal said the attackers deliberately targeted civilians.

"Thats terrorists have massacred civilians at a time when people were out to spend time during the weekend." I call on the Somali people to stand together against those killers, "he told reporters.

– 'Chaos after the blast' –

Police official Ibrahim Mohamed said that the number of dead wounded was 41, with another 106 wounded.

"Most of these people were civilians and nearly 20 of them died in minibuses that were passing by the road when the blast occurred," he added.

Another security official, Abdirahman Osman, told AFP that nearly 50 had been confirmed dead so far, although the final number was not yet known.

Officials on Friday had the death toll at about 20.

"There was chaos after the blast." Some witnesses said, "Fadumo Ali told AFP on Friday.

According to sources in Somalia, the fatalities included Abdirashid Ilqeyte, who was killed in a Shabaab attack on the establishment in November 2015.

The bombed parts of the hotel perimeter despite layered security, and several shops and other buildings were flattened.

The Shabaab claim responsibility.

Sahrawi hotel in Mogadishu where senior Somali government officials stay informed, "the militant group said in a statement quoted by a pro-Shabaab website.

The Shabaab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011.

But they still control parts of the countryside and attack government, military, and civilian targets, seemingly at will, in Mogadishu and towns in the region.

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