Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Death toll from Somalia hotel attack rises to 39

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Deanna Wagner | 10 November, 2018, 16:54

"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.

Twin auto bombs detonated in Mogadishu within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast a while later. The police said that guards at Hotel Sahafi and CID officers opened fire after the blasts.

A series of vehicle bombings killed at least 18 people and injured 45 in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Friday, Police Capt.Daahir Kulane said.

"We have confirmed 39 civilians died and 40 others were injured in yesterday's blasts", Mohamed Hussein, a police officer in the city told the Reuters news agency. "The death toll is sure to rise".

An initial "two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi hotel along the main road", said police official Ibrahim Mohamed, who earlier gave a preliminary toll of more than 10 dead. Then, about 20 minutes later, a third explosion hit the busy street, witnesses said. The third vehicle was remotely detonated.

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"The militants who entered the hotel compound faced heavy gunfire from the hotel guards".

The attack took place near the Sahafi Hotel and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) police headquarters. "Abdifatah Abdirashid, the hotel owner, and three of his bodyguards died", Abdiqani said.

The dead body of an unidentified man is seen at the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia, Nov. 9, 2018.

"We targeted it because it acts as government base".