Three dead in Somalia auto bombings

Jerome Frank
October 29, 2017

Security officials said Saturday's bomber had pretended his truck had broken down outside the gate.

At least 19 people were killed in the attack in Mogadishu, and a gunbattle continued between security forces and other attackers who entered the hotel after the blast.

Farmajo was scheduled to meet the presidents of the Somalia's five federal republics at the hotel later in the evening, he said.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says more than 30 people were wounded in Saturday's attack that began when a suicide auto bomb exploded outside the gates of the Nasa-Hablod hotel.

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

Al-Shabab, Africa's deadliest Islamic extremist group, quickly claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack and said its fighters were inside the hotel.

A taxi driver at the scene told AFP he saw four bodies being carried away, while another witness called Yusuf Moalim said a senior police official appeared to be among the victims, whose vehicle had been near the hotel entrance when the blast occurred.

A huge cloud of smoke rose over the scene and a Reuters witness saw over a dozen wrecked cars and bloodstains in front of the hotel.

According to Somali national news agency (SONNA), former MP Abdinasir Garane and former police commissioner of Daynile district Mohamed Yusuf were among the dead.

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Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attacks, our correspondent said.

Witnesses in some previous attacks have said al Shabab fighters disguised themselves by wearing military uniforms.

The devastating attack of October 14 left at least 358 people dead and more than 400 injured. Capt. Mohamed Hussein says the death toll could rise.

The Somali militant group Al Shabab said it carried out the bombings.

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

"Sporadic gunfire" was continuing with at least two gunmen from the Shabaab Islamist group believed to be inside the Nasa Hablod Hotel 2, he added.

A second blast was heard in the area minutes after the first.

Two vehicle bombs killed at least 17 people in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday, police said.

A Somali police officer says a suspected suicide auto bomb has detonated near the gate of a hotel close to the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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