Three bomb blasts in Somali capital, at least 17 killed

Multiple bomb blast in Somalia capital, Mogadishu, have killed at least 17 people, Reuters quotes an officer.

The news agency, however, says its photographer has counted 20 bodies.

Two bomb blasts were initially heard, with a third going off in a busy street 20 minutes later.

"So far we have confirmed 17 civilians dead. They were travelling in public vehicles at the scene when the blasts and gunfire occurred. The death toll is sure to rise," Ali Nur, a police officer in the city, told Reuters.

An initial "two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi hotel along the main road… we are getting more than 10 people died, most of them civilians and some security guards," said police official Ibrahim Mohamed. A third explosion and gunfire were also heard in the area, according to an AFP reporter.

No group has claimed responsibility so far but militant group al-Shabab has a strong presence in the country.

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