A strong explosion killed at least four people in the Somali capital Thursday, the police said. An Islamic extremist group claimed that a Mogadishu hotel was the intended destination, but a police officer said militants detonated a bomb when they attempted to assassinate a judge.
Near the appellant's residence, Abshir Omar, militants dropped a car bomb, and security forces stationed in front of the judge's home fended off armed men trying to crowd in.
Eight more were injured in the attack, Hussein told The Associated Press.
Two witnesses said the explosion had demolished part of the roof of Omar's house. The witnesses, shopkeeper Ahmed Mohamed and local Fatima Nur, said they heard gunfire after the blast and said the smoke was blowing from the point of attack.
Al-Shabab, considered the deadliest Islamist extremist group in Africa, took responsibility for the attack. The Al Qaeda-affiliated group said the Maka Almukarramah Hotel, not the judge's house nearby, was the intended target.
Another witness, Sabir Abdi, said that the hotel suffered significant damage and several people were injured in the house.
Dozens of cars stood in Maka Almukarramah Road, which is located in a busy part of Mogadishu where restaurants and hotels are located.
Al-Shabab has targeted the Maka Almukarramah Hotel several times in the past, including an attack in March 2015 that killed at least 18 people.
The militant group, which opposes the government of Somalia and seeks to enforce Sharia law, has made numerous deadly attacks in Somalia and elsewhere in the region, including neighboring Kenya.
Al-Shabab said it was responsible for an attack on a hotel and shopping complex in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, which killed 21 people in January.