Capt. Mohamed Hussein said at least 40 others were injured in the attack Thursday near a hotel and a judge’s residence on a busy street in Mogadishu.
He said early Friday that security forces were still fighting to neutralize some militants holed up inside a building close to Maka Almukarramah hotel, which the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab said had been the target.
He said the death toll could rise as many of the wounded are being treated in hospitals.
Al-Shabab has targeted the Maka Almukarramah hotel, which is frequently patronized by government officials, multiple times in the past.