A one hour series of three bomb explosions killed at least 11 people outside a hotel frequently visited by government officials in a heavily guarded district of the Somali capital on Wednesday.
The attacks on the Jazira hotel, one of the securest places in Mogadishu, underscore the security challenges facing President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, whose election by lawmakers last year was hailed by many as a way to end two decades of conflict.
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.
At least one of the first two bombs appeared to be a suicide bomber, police said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Islamist rebel group al Shabaab has carried out a campaign of attacks over the past two and a half years in Mogadishu.
Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of a private ambulance service, told Reuters at least 11 people had been killed and 17 others were wounded.