Series of bombings in capital
Three explosions in front of a hotel, then a fourth blast hits as medics attempt to rescue the injured
FOUR car bombs by Islamist extremists exploded outside a hotel in the capital Mogadishu on Friday, killing more than 25 people and injuring more than 17, police said.
After the three explosions in front of the hotel, a fourth blast hit as medics attempted to rescue the injured.
The suicide bombs detonated near the perimeter wall of the Sahafi Hotel, which is located across the street from the headquarters of the Somali Police Force’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Captain Mohamed Hussein told the Associated Press.
Some of the victims were burned beyond recognition when one car bomb exploded next to a minibus, he said.
Among the dead was Abdifatah Abdirashid, the manager of the Sahafi Hotel, whose father was the owner of the hotel before he was killed in an al-Shabaab attack on the establishment in 2015, said Hussein.
The militant Islamist group al-Shabaab, linked to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack at the hotel.
Hotel guards and CID officers opened fire on the militants after the blasts, police said. About 20minutes later, a third explosion from a bomb placed in a three-wheeled “tuk-tuk” vehicle near the hotel hit the busy street, witnesses said.
“Four militants who attempted to enter the hotel were shot dead by our police and the hotel guards,” police captain Mohamed Ahmed told Reuters. “Two other militants were suicide car bombers who were blown up by their bombs. The third car was remotely detonated.
“In total, 28 people died, including the six militants.”
A Reuters photographer at the scene saw 20 bodies of civilians and burnt-out minibuses, motorbikes and cars.
Abdiasisi Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s spokesperson for military operations, told Reuters that the group had singled out the Sahafi for attack because of its association with the government that the Islamists want to overthrow.
Somalia has been engulfed in violence and lawlessness since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in the early 1990s. | A SOUTH Korean Defence Ministry official said the North and South Korean militaries had completed withdrawing troops and firearms from 22 front line guard posts as they continue to implement a wide-ranging agreement reached in September to reduce tensions.
The official said soldiers completed disarming 11 guard posts on the southern side of the Demilitarised Zone that divides the Koreas yesterday.
The official said the ministry believes the North has also finished withdrawing personnel and weapons from 11 guard posts on the northern side of the DMZ.
The Koreas plan to destroy 20 of the structures by the end of the month, while symbolically leaving one demilitarised guard post on each side. They plan to jointly verify the results in December. |