A powerful explosion killed at least four people on Thursday in a Somali capital, the police said. The Islamic extremist group claimed that the target was a hotel in Mogadishu, but the police said that the soldiers detonated the bomb while trying to kill the judge.
The militants launched a car bomb near Supreme Court Judge Abshir Omar, security forces stationed outside the court house, and fought shooters who tried to force their way, said police officer Mohamed Hussein.
Eight others were injured in the attack, Hussein told Associated Press.
Two witnesses said that the explosion ripped off part of the Omar House roof. Witnesses, traffickers Ahmed Mohamed and Fatima Nur, who resided in the area, reported that after the explosion, they heard firing and smoke was smoked from the attack site.
Al-Shabab, considered to be the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa, has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Al-Kaido-related group said that the hotel Maka Almukarrama, not a court house nearby, was targeted.
The other story, Sabir Abdi, said that the hotel suffered great damage and that more people were injured.
On the road of Maka Almukarramah, located in the vibrant part of Mogadisha, where restaurants and hotels are located, dozens of cars were burning.
Al-Shabab has repeatedly attacked the hotel Maka Almukarramah several times, including the March 2015 attack, which killed at least 18 people.
A militant group that opposes the federal government of Somalia and wants to introduce Sharia law has carried out many deadly attacks in Somalia and elsewhere in the region, including neighboring Kenya.
This was the deadliest attack in the history of Somalia, the massive bombing of trucks, which killed more than 500 people in Mogadishu in October 2017. Al-Shabab also said he was responsible for the January attack on the hotel and shopping complex in the neighboring main town of Nairobi, killing 21 people.
The US has dramatically increased air strikes against the extremist group since President Donald Trump took power. The US military headquarters for the African continent reported 50 attacks in Somalia in 2018.
This year, US strikes against al-Shabab fighters have advanced even more rapidly. A military command in Africa reported 23 of Tuesday, including one in central Somalia, killing 20 militants and one day before the death of 35.
Rodney Muhumuza contributed from Kampala, Uganda.