Somalia: A suicide attack outside a hotel in Mogadishu has left 23 people dead and 30 injured. A suicide truck bomb exploded outside a hotel while a gun battle was on with security forces pursuing other attackers inside the building.
According to Capt. Mohamed Hussein, 30 people, including a government minister, were rescued from the Mogadishu , the Associated Press reported. Three of the five attackers were also killed, Hussein confirmed.
Two weeks ago, around 350 people were killed in a busy Mogadishu street due to a suicide bombing. The attack was marked as the ‘worst-ever attack’ in the history of Somalia.
Al-Shabab, an Islamic extremist group, claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings outside the hotel. They also claimed that their militants were inside the hotel.
Eye witnesses told the media that they saw armed men wearing military uniform running into the hotel as the blast occurred. “I think they were al-Shabab fighters who were trying to storm the hotel,” Mohamed Dek Haji, an eyewitness, told AP.
Previously also reports of Al-Shabab fighters dressing up as military men surfaced in the media. Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said the new attack was meant to instill fear in Somalis who united after the October 14 attack, marching in the thousands through Mogadishu in defiance of al-Shabab.
These attacks raise concerns as the African Union force operating in Somalia is set to withdraw in 2020. US military officials reiterated that the Somalian forces are not ready to take charge of the country.