NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – A strong explosion killed at least four people in the capital of Somalia on Thursday, police said. The Islamic extremist group claimed that the Mogadishu hotel was the intended target, but the police officer said the militants detonated the bomb, trying to kill the judge.
The militants who were in the car bomb at the residence of Absir Omar, the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal, and the security forces stationed outside the judiciary's home, fought against weapons that tried to force him inside, said police officer Mohamed Hussein.
Eight others were injured in the attack, Husein told The Associated Press.
Two witnesses said the explosion pulled part of the Omar house roof. Witnesses, shopkeeper Ahmed Mohamed and district resident Fatima Nur reported that fires had been heard after the explosion.
Al-Shabab, considered to be the most inhuman group of Islamic extremists in Africa, was responsible for the attack. Al-Qaida's affiliated group said the Maca Almukarramah Hotel, not the judge's house, was the target.
Another witness, Sabir Abdi, said the hotel suffered significant damage and several people were injured.
Maka Almukarramah Street, located in the busy part of Mogadishu with restaurants and hotels, is home to dozens of cars.
Al-Shabab has been targeting the Maca Almukarramah hotel several times, including the March 2015 attack, which killed at least 18 people.
A group of militants opposing the Somali federal government and wishing to impose Sharia law have committed many deadly attacks in Somalia and elsewhere in the region, including in neighboring Kenya.
Al-Shabab said he was responsible for attacking a hotel and shopping complex in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, which killed 21 people in January.
Rodney Muhumuza was from Kampala, Uganda.