Somalia auto bomb attack leaves at least 20 dead, police say

Pauline Gross
November 10, 2018

Suicide attackers set off two auto bombs at a hotel near the headquarters of Somalia's Criminal Investigations Department in Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least 17 people, police said.

Explosions and gunfire erupted in the area around the Sahafi Hotel and the Somali police force's Criminal Investigations Department.

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.

Officials on Friday had put the death toll at about 20.

Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the bombs, according to the group's Adalus radio station.

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Mohamed Abshir from Amin ambulance service told Efe that 14 people were killed, while the ambulance service said on Twitter that it had transported 45 injured people to hospitals. Over the last several years, the group has launched offensives that have killed hundreds of African Union forces from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

"I saw nine dead bodies along the road and they were civilians, some of them riding on rickshaws when the blasts occurred". The blasts appeared to be suicide bombs that detonated near the perimeter wall of the hotel.

"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.

But they still control parts of the countryside and attack government, military, and civilian targets, seemingly at will, in Mogadishu and towns in the region.

Other reports by GizPress

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