Police bombings in Mogadishu killed at least 30 people



(CNN) –
In a series of car bombings, at least 30 people were killed and nearly 100 injured on Friday afternoon in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

Three car bombs were detonated near the Sahafi Hotel, police told CNN.

Five attackers tried to storm the hotel, but were shot dead by police officers, the Somali police spokesman Colonel Qasim Ahmed Roble told reporters.

He said that 52 Somali officials were rescued from the Sahafi Hotel and the nearby Hayat Hotel.

Among those injured are the police commissioner of Mogadishu in the Hodon district, Abdifitah Bashir, and former general director of the country's Ministry of Information, Abdirizak Yusuf, according to the police.

Abdiaziz Ibrahim, a former Ministry of Internal Security spokesman who was at the scene, told CNN that the attacks lasted 20 minutes and took place "one after another".

One of the victims was the owner of the hotel, said Ibrahim.

"Those who made the attack were dressed in police uniform but were al-Shabab attackers," he said.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group Al-Shabaab has taken responsibility for the bombings and said it killed a number of people.

Al-Shabaab is a Somali group that the United States designated as a foreign terrorist organization in March 2008. It wants to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state, according to the Council of Foreign Relations.

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery, according to his official Twitter account.

The United National Assistance Mission in Somalia condemned the attack.

"Such despicable terrorist attacks will in no way undermine the resolve of the Somali people to pursue the priorities of state-building, economic recovery and security," UNSG Deputy Special Representative for Somalia Raisedon Zenenga said in a statement.

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