Bomb kills 11 near judge's home, hotel in Somali capital

Cars burn after car bombs in Mogadishu Somalia Thursday Feb. 28 2019. At least four people were killed in a powerful explosion late Thursday in the Somali capital Mogadishu police said in an attack that Islamic extremists said was an attempt to bomb

Two dozen people were killed, police said, in an attack that Islamic extremists said was an attempt to bomb a hotel.

"There was a huge vehicle bomb blast along the Maka Al-Mukarama road", said police officer Mohamed Farah. I have just seen them in the hospital; they are in critical condition.

Security sources said a truck carrying several barrels of explosives rammed on to the building, detonating the explosives before the gunmen sang in to action, with initial reports indicating that t it was the work of Al-Shabab fighters.

Security forces on Friday ended a siege by Al-Shabaab insurgents almost 24 hours after jihadists mounted an attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu that left at least 19 dead.

A damaged building is seen at the scene where a suicide auto bomb exploded targeting a Mogadishu hotel in a business centre in Maka Al Mukaram street in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Thursday.

Al-Shabab, militant group, affiliated with Al Qaeda terror organisation, has claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Medics said they had pulled out five dead bodies from the wreckage of the bomb blast, which exploded into a fireball and smashed off the front of nearby buildings.

Police said the death toll could rise.

The Maka al-Mukarama road is the busiest road in Mogadishu.

Many victims of Thursday's attack suffered horrific injuries and hospitals were said to be struggling to cope with causalities.

The hotel is patronized by government officials, and the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab has targeted it multiple times in attacks that have killed scores of people.

Al-Shabaab fighters were pushed out of Somalia's capital in 2011, and subsequently from other towns and cities, by African Union troops.

In 2018, the US military command for Africa reportedly carried out 50 raids against the militants.

Under President Donald Trump, Washington stepped up attacks against the group and US Africa Command announced six air strikes it says killed 52 militants since February 23.

The number of killed in the auto bomb blast and subsequent shooting in Mogadishu has risen to 25, another 35 were injured, Mareeg news outlet reported Friday.

When asked why recent strikes have been deadlier, a spokeswoman said Somali and "partner forces continue to make incursions into territory formerly controlled by al-Shabab", giving them chances to collect more intelligence and develop targets.

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