Bombs target Somali hotel and police in Mogadishu

Image via AP

Image via AP

People rescue a wounded person following three blasts of suicide bomb vehicle attacks in Mogadishu, on 9 November 2018.

Mogadishu faces frequent bombings at the hands of Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate which has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed Somali government for over a decade.

Somalis carry away an injured civilian who was wounded in a bomb blast near the Sahafi hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia.

The number of people killed when suicide bombers and gunmen struck a popular hotel in Somalia's capital has risen to 39 from the initial 22, police said on Saturday. "The death toll is sure to rise", Ali Nur, a police officer in the city, told Reuters.

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

Police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP that "more than 10 people died, a lot of them civilians and some security guards". Then, about 20 minutes later, a third explosion hit the busy street, witnesses said. "So in total 28 people died, including the six militants".

Col. Qasim Ahmed Roble, Somali police spokesman, told reporters five attackers attempted to storm the hotel but were shot and killed by police.

According to sources, the fatalities included the son of the owner of the hotel, Abdirashid Ilqeyte, who was killed in a Shabaab attack on the establishment in November 2015.

A Reuters photographer saw 20 bodies as well as several destroyed vehicles at the scene of the incident.

Al-Shabab said it targeted government officials staying at the hotel.

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