Fifteen dead, dozens injured in Mogadishu hotel attack
June 26, Mogadishu: At least 15 people have been killed and dozens more injured when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of a hotel in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, police sources said.
Burci Mohamed Hamza, minister of state for environment, was at the hotel during the attack.
Armed group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack on the Nasa Hablod hotel in a statement distributed through social networks online.
Police captain Ali Ahmed said security forces were battling the attackers who took positions inside the hotel near Mogadishu's busy KM-4 junction.
A security official, who asked not to be named, told the DPA news agency that the attack was believed to had been carried out by three to four people.
A witness to the attack, Ali Mohamud, said the attackers randomly shot at guests at the hotel.
Captain Mohamed Hussein said some attackers had moved to the second floor and were using machine guns to resist security forces. Hussein said security forces killed two of the attackers.
He also told the AP news agency that he saw four bodies, thought to be civilians, lying outside the hotel.
Yusuf Ali, an ambulance driver, said he had evacuated 11 people injured in the attack to hospitals.
Muslims in Somalia and around the world are observing Ramadan. In previous years, al-Shabab has often intensified attacks during the fasting month, often picking targets where people gather just before or after breaking the fast, Al Jazeera reports.
The Oslo Times International News Network