Three dead in Somalia auto bombings

Casey Dawson
October 29, 2017

Police said earlier a suicide auto bomb had been rammed into a hotel and a former government building had been attacked. A few minutes later a auto bomb exploded near the former parliament house nearby.

"About 14 people, majority civilians, were confirmed dead so far and the security forces are still working to ensure the area is clear", said security official Mohamed Moalim Adan.

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

"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".

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

Fighting continued to rage inside the hotel and police said the death toll was likely to rise.

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

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A huge cloud of smoke rose over the scene and a Reuters witness saw over a dozen wrecked cars and bloodstains in front of the hotel.

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

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

The blast comes just two weeks after 350 people were killed on the streets of Mogadishu when a truck bomb exploded in the city's worst ever terror attack.

Nasa-hablood hotel is located near the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

The Shabab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack on a media channel associated with the group.

Somali reportedthat the number killed was at least three.

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