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At least 10 dead in hotel attack in Mogadishu

At least 10 dead in hotel attack in Mogadishu”

Police Officer Ali Mohamed told Anadolu Agency over the phone that a vehicle bomb had targeted the Nasa-hablood hotel near the presidential palace; soon after another auto bomb exploded near the scene.

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 auto had been near the hotel entrance when the blast occurred.

President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohammed, escaped death on Saturday, after the al-Shabab militant group attacked Hotel Naasa-Hablood, where he was scheduled to hold a meeting.

"The Mujahedeen fighters are inside Nasa Hablod 2 hotel where... apostate officials are staying", said a brief statement posted on a pro-Shabaab website, quoting Andalus.

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Mohamed Dek Haji said he survived the bombing as he walked beside a parked auto that was largely destroyed by the explosion.

"A vehicle loaded with explosives went off at the entrance of Nasa Hablod Hotel and there is gunfire", police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP, saying there was also "a minibus loaded with explosives which went off a nearby intersection".

He suffered small injuries on his shoulder and skull from flying glass.

Witnesses said gunmen stormed Nasa-Hablod hotel after detonating a auto filled with explosives at the entrance.

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

"We targeted ministers and security officials who were inside the hotel".

Bombs in Mogadishu two weeks ago killed at least 358 people, the worst such attacks in the country's history, igniting nationwide outrage.

He also faces the challenge of pulling together regional powers inside his long-fractured country, where the federal government is only now trying to assert itself beyond Mogadishu and other major cities.

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'It is a busy hotel frequented by lawmakers, (military) forces and civilians'.



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