A police captain told the Associated Press that security forces were following the truck in Hodan district when it exploded.
The explosion left a trail of destruction across a busy intersection, with several bodies and bloodied slippers and shoes.More news: Top LeT terrorist Waseem among 2 killed in Pulwama
The attacks follows after political impasse between the Federal government of Somalia and its member states, in what many believe could have been foreign interest based political interference. It is not known whether the hotel was the target on this occasion, but in the past the Shabaab has frequently attacked hotels where officials stay.
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A huge explosion from a truck bomb killed 20 people in Somalia's capital, police said Saturday, as shaken residents called it the most powerful blast they'd heard in years.More news: Hurricane Ophelia strengthens to Category 2 storm, NHC says
Police now say the attacks have killed at least 30 people.
Mohamed Hussein says the blast occurred overnight (NZT) as security forces were trailing the truck that had raised suspicions. Another witness said there was a traffic jam and that the area was packed with people and cars when it happened.More news: NBC's Seth Meyers to Trump Supporters: Stop Watching My Show; "Go Away"
About two hours later, a second blast took place in the city's Madina district. While there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Saturday's blast, the Shabab has often targeted high-profile areas of Mogadishu with deadly bombings. The al-Qaida-allied organisation is waging an insurgency to topple the weak UN-backed government and its African Union allies. The prime minister's office announced the resignation of Abdullahi and army chief Ahmed Mohamed Jimale Irfid on Thursday.