Bomb blasts kills 17 in Mogadishu

Bomb blasts kills 17 in Mogadishu

Bomb blasts kills 17 in Mogadishu

"The first attack was caused by a suicide auto bomber targeting the Nasa-hablood hotel; at least 10 people were killed, more than eight others wounded".

At least three people were killed in twin vehicle bombings in the Somali capital on Saturday that were claimed by Shabaab Islamists, police and medics said.

"Security forces have entered a small portion of the hotel building. the exchange of gunfire is hellish", he said.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says two of the five attackers have been killed.

He said the hotel belonged to Somalia's internal security minister, Mohamed Abukar Islow.

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.

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.

Police say the death toll in a suicide vehicle bombing outside a popular hotel in Somalia's capital has risen to 13, with more than 16 people wounded.

The al-Shabab extremist group has quickly claimed responsibility for the suicide auto bomb that detonated outside the Nasa-Hablod hotel, which is frequented by politicians and other members of Mogadishu's elite.

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

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

The devastating attack of October 14 left at least 358 people dead and more than 400 injured.

The al-Shabab extremist group has quickly claimed responsibility for a suicide auto bomb that detonated outside a popular hotel in Somalia's capital.

"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.

Saturday's blast comes two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country's worst-ever attack.

The police personnel who died had been stationed close to hotel's gate.

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

"The Mujahedeen fighters are inside Nasa Hablod 2 hotel where... apostate officials are staying", it said.

Twin auto bombs exploded outside a hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least 10 people in Somalia's capital Saturday, local officials said.

Al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu.

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