Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Vehicle bombs, gunfire kill at least 23 in Somalia

Many 'killed' in Mogadishu bomb blasts One of the bombed buildings in Mogadishu
Patty Aguilar | 10 November, 2018, 21:38

Tension is high in Somalia's Mogadishu after three bomb explosions were reported with heavy gunfire near the CID headquarters, at Sahafi Hotel.

Earlier today, two suicide auto bombs targeted the perimeter of the Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu.

Two vehicle bombs exploded near the Sahafi Hotel and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Friday afternoon, before a third bomb, placed in a three-wheeled "tuk-tuk", exploded on a busy street near the hotel. "The death toll is sure to rise", Ali Nur, a police officer in the city, told Reuters.

The al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks, which took place during the afternoon rush hour on a busy street near a checkpoint that controls access to Mogadishu International Airport, reports Efe news.

"Four militants who attempted to enter the hotel were shot dead by our police and the hotel guards", police captain Mohamed Ahmed told Reuters.

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The suicide bombs detonated near the perimeter wall of the Sahafi Hotel, which is located across the street from the Somali Police Force's Criminal Investigations Department, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

"I saw nine dead bodies along the road and they were civilians, some of them riding on rickshaws when the blasts occurred".

"There was chaos after the blast. Abdifatah Abdirashid, the hotel owner, and three of his bodyguards died", Abdiqani said.

The militant group al-Shabab, which has waged an insurgency for more than 10 years, said it carried out the attack.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Islamists from the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group have mounted regular attacks in the capital.

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