A car bomb was detonated near Villa Somalia on Friday afternoon followed quickly by a second blast and an exchange of gunfire.
One of the explosions is said to be close to Hotel Jubba. Although the target is still unclear, the area is home to government intelligence offices.
Witnesses report seeing a large plume of smoke in the sky close to the site of the explosion.
“As far as we know, there has been one blast beside the presidential palace, and another close to a popular hotel, our security forces are on the scene” Major Mohamed Ahmed, a police officer told HOL by phone.
Reports indicate the Al-Shabaab militants tried to force their way into the presidential palace but security forces held them off. There is reportedly heavy fighting in the area.
The attack comes just a day after government officials asked Mogadishu residents to heed to their terror warning.
The Ministry of Information warned the public of two vehicles loaded with explosives that security officials say is being planned to be used for an attack.