Three bombs exploded within an hour outside the front of a hotel popular with government officials in a heavily fortified district of the Somali capital on Wednesday, killing at least 11 people.
The first two bombs came in quick succession and were followed by heavy bursts of gunfire by Somali security forces. The third blast took place about an hour later when a bomb went off inside a car that was being searched by the military.
Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of a private ambulance service, told Reuters at least 11 people had been killed and 17 others were wounded.
"First we heard a big crash and the security forces immediately opened fire," said Abdullahi Hussein who lives about 300 yards behind the hotel. "After a few minutes another explosion took place and there was more gunfire."
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the armed opposition group al-Shabab has carried out a campaign of attacks over the past two and a half years in Mogadishu, underscoring the huge security challenges the government faces.
Al-Shabab suicide bombers targeted the Jazeera hotel in an attack late last year.