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At least 14 dead in Mogadishu attack

29 October, 2017, 01:54 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • At least 14 dead in Mogadishu attack

Extremists attacked a Mogadishu hotel Saturday with a vehicle bomb, a suicide vest, grenades and firearms, killing at least 23 people, including a baby, wounding more than 30 and trapping dozens of people on the building's upper floors.

The attack came two weeks after a massive truck bomb exploded in central Mogadishu, killing at least 358 people, making it the deadliest attack in the troubled country's history.

Ali Nur, a police officer, said 17 people, mostly policemen, had died in the blasts.

"Most people fled the hotel through a back door but some are still trapped inside", said Mohamed Dek, who was escaped the hotel after the initial explosion. The dead also included a former member of parliament, he said.

"I think they were al-Shabab fighters who were trying to storm the hotel", he said, lying on a hospital bed.

A third blast occurred when an attacker detonated a suicide vest. He suffered small injuries on his shoulder and head from flying glass.

"We can hear the gunfire but it is hard to know who is fighting, the forces cordoned off the building and no one can go close to it", said Abdulahi Nure.




The first explosion was a suicide vehicle bomb which detonated outside a Mogadishu hotel, where gunfire broke out inside the building.

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.

The Somali government blamed the October 14 blast on al-Shabab, but no group has claimed responsibility.

A staggering 22,000-strong African Union force is expected to withdraw its forced and hand the country's security to the Somali military by the start of 2021.

The Shabaab lost their foothold in Mogadishu in 2011 but have continued their fight, launching regular attacks on military, government and civilian targets in the capital and elsewhere.

The U.S. military also has stepped up military efforts against al-Shabab this year in Somalia, carrying out almost 20 drone strikes, as the global war on extremism moves deeper into the African continent.

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