At least 40 people were killed in triple bomb blasts that rocked Somalia's capital Mogadishu, police and witnesses said. Picture: Faisal Isse/Xinhua/African News Agency (ANA)

Mogadishu - The death toll from a triple car bombing in Somalia's capital Mogadishu has risen to 40, including seven terrorists, a senior police officer said on Saturday, with up to 50 people injured.

The death toll stood at 32 on Friday, but more civilians succumbed to their injuries by Saturday. "We have records that eight wounded civilians passed away in two different hospitals in the city," senior police officer Ali Hassan said.

Mohamed Yusuf, the director at one of those hospitals, Madina Hospital, told dpa that they had received 27 wounded people and that three of them died later from their wounds.

"Some families are searching for their loved ones because they are still missing, as several whose bodies were burned badly beyond recognition were found in civilian vehicles," Hassan said.

Fighters from the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab detonated two car bombs in front of the Sahafi Hotel, which is frequented by government officials and other members of Somalia's elite on Friday.

Two militants, who were driving the cars filled with explosives, were killed during the blast, while five others were shot dead by the security forces before they could enter the hotel, Hassan said.

The third bomb was hidden in an unmanned car that had been parked at a nearby car park, police said.

The Sahafi Hotel is located at a busy intersection of Mogadishu.

Nearby buildings, including the Hayat Hotel and the Central Investigation Department were damaged by the powerful blasts.

Al-Shabaab, which is affiliated with the international al-Qaeda terrorist network, launches regular attacks within the volatile East African nation.