Somalia's security forces shot dead four gunmen who tried to storm a popular hotel after four suicide blasts. Police said the death toll - from the initial 22 - was likely to rise, as some people were still missing.
Reuters news agency cited government sources as saying Saturday that the death toll from Friday's blasts in Mogadishu has risen to 39.
Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a popular hotel in the Somali capital Friday, killing at least 22 people and injuring many. Some of the victims were burned beyond recognition, police said.
"We have confirmed 39 civilians died and 40 others were injured in yesterday's blasts," Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters.
"The death toll may rise because some people are still missing," he added.
Blasts and gunfire
Four car bombs exploded outside the Sahafi Hotel, which is located across the street from the Somali Police Force's Criminal Investigations Department, Friday afternoon. After the three explosions in front of the hotel, a fourth blast hit as ambulances rushed to rescue the injured.
The suicide bombers tried to storm through a hole blown into the hotel's wall but did not succeed in entering, said Hussein.
"Although they failed to access the hotel, the blasts outside the hotel killed many people," said Hussein.
"The street was crowded with people and cars, bodies were everywhere," Hussein Nur, a shopkeeper, told The Associated Press. "Gunfire killed several people, too."
The al Qaeda-linked militant Islamist group, al Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Violence and lawlessness have spiked in the African country since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre's government was toppled in the early 1990s.