More than 20 killed after bomb blasts in Mogadishu

Nellie Chapman
November 10, 2018

Twin vehicle bombs exploded in the capital within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the sky, according to an AFP reporter.

"Armed members from the Shabab Al-Mujahideen carried (out) a complex attack targeting Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu where senior Somali government officials stay", the militant group said in a statement quoted by a pro-Shabaab website.

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

"So far we have confirmed 17 civilians dead. The death toll is sure to rise".

Hotel guards and CID officers opened fire after the blasts, police added.

"Two other militants were suicide vehicle bombers who were blown up by their auto bombs".

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"We are getting (information that) about 20 people died in the attack and more than 40 others were wounded".

Among the dead was the manager of the Sahafi Hotel, whose father was the owner of the hotel before he was killed in an al-Shabab attack on establishment in 2015, said police Capt. Hussein.

A Reuters photographer at the scene saw 20 bodies of civilians and several burnt-out shells of mini-buses, motor-bikes and private saloon cars.

Abdiasisi Abu Musab, al Shabaab's spokesman for military operations, said the group had singled out the Sahafi for attack because of its association with the government the Islamists want to overthrow.

Somalia has been engulfed by violence and lawlessness since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in the early 1990s.

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