MOGADISHU, Somalia: At least 23 people, including a former lawmaker and a police official were killed and more than 30 others wounded in two suspected suicide car blasts at a hotel in capital Mogadishu on Saturday evening, according to police. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Police Officer Ali Mohamed told Anadolu Agency over the phone that a car bomb had targeted the Nasa-hablood hotel near the presidential palace; soon after another car bomb exploded near the scene.
“The first attack was caused by a suicide car bomber targeting the Nasa-hablood hotel; at least 10 people were killed, more than eight others wounded.
“The second car bomb exploded 30 minutes later near National Intelligence Agency prison known as Godka-jilacow,” Mohamed said.
According to Somali national news agency (SONNA), former MP Abdinasir Garane and former police commissioner of Daynile district Mohamed Yusuf were among the dead.
Local media reported that heavily-armed gunmen had stormed the Nasa-hablood hotel after the explosion and a gunbattle continues to rage on inside.
I have seen eight wounded people at the scene; Somali security forces and emergency services are there, Mohamed Gurow, 30-year-old businessman, told Anadolu Agency.
Lawmakers and politicians use the Nasa-hablood hotel is located near the presidential palace in Mogadishu.
Somali-based insurgent group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and said its fighters remain inside the hotel.
The latest attack comes two weeks after a suicide truck bomb attack in Mogadishu left more than 358 people dead.
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