The first explosion in the city's K5 Junction area, which is lined with government offices, hotels, and restaurants, destroyed several buildings and set dozens of vehicles on fire. Security forces have sealed off the blast site for investigation, Mohamed said. A truck loaded with explosives went off at the entrance of a hotel, according to security sources.
The explosion appeared to target a hotel on a busy road in the Hodan district and at least 15 people were injured, Capt. Mohamed Hussein said.
A second explosion took place later in the city's Madina district. "I cannot tell the exact death toll, but together I can say we have transported hundreds of people on our 10 ambulances", Adem said.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, however, Somalia has been fighting a war with Islamist insurgents in the country known as al Shabaab.
The blast is the largest heard in Mogadishu in recent memory.
Emergency services were overwhelmed as they sought to respond to the bombing. "We are still busy transporting casualties", said Abdullahi Nur, a police officer who was in the area, adding that there were bodies under the rubble.
The Shabaab was forced out of the capital six years ago by African Union and Somali troops, and subsequently lost control of major towns across southern Somalia.
Saturday's blast comes two days after Somalia's defence minister and army chief both resigned from their posts without explanation.
A Somali soldier helps a civilian wounded in a blast in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017.
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