6 killed, 8 injured in hotel attack in Mogadishu

Oct 29, 2017, 01:57
6 killed, 8 injured in hotel attack in Mogadishu

And the Nasa-Hablod hotel was targeted just past year, when al-Shabaab gunmen stormed the building, killing at least 14 people and injuring another 25.

Two vehicle bombs have killed at least 17 people in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, in a deadly attack claimed by al-Shabab.

The attack comes two weeks after a truck bomb left 358 people dead in the city.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab claimed Saturday's bombings in a statement on its Andalus radio station, saying its fighters had forced their way into the hotel.

Mohamed Ahmed, a tuk-tuk driver, who was driving by the Nasa-Hablod hotel at the time of the attack, said he "saw a vehicle exploding at the gate of the hotel".

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Other victims included a senior Somali police colonel, a former lawmaker and a former government minister.

Mogadishu's Aamin ambulance service has so far removed three bodies from the scene and evacuated 17 wounded, its director Abdukadir Abdurahman told AFP.

In the first attack, a suicide vehicle bomb rammed into the popular Nasahablod Two hotel, about 600 metres from the presidential place, before gunmen stormed the building.

Fellow witness Ismail Muktar said, "We can hear sporadic gunfire and grenade blasts and the area is very dark because the electric line was cut off amid the blast".

Local media reported that heavily-armed gunmen had stormed the Nasa-hablood hotel after the explosion and a gunbattle continues to rage on inside.

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"We can hear the gunfire but it is hard to know who is fighting, the forces cordoned off the building and no one can go close to it", said Abdulahi Nure.

"I was very lucky", he added.

Nasa-hablood hotel is located near the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

Two more blasts were heard in the area, with one reported as a suicide bombing.

USA military officials and others in recent months have expressed concern that Somali forces are not yet ready.

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