Mogadishu hotel blast kills 23

Bombs kill at least 7 in Mogadishu

Bombs kill at least 7 in Mogadishu

On Saturday, a suicide auto bomb was rammed into a hotel, Nasahablod Two, about 600 metres from the presidential palace, and then armed militants stormed the building, police said.

"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.

Gunfire was heard from inside the hotel building, where up to 20 people, including government officials, were assumed to be holed up as part of a standoff between security forces and militants.

He said he saw at least three armed men in military uniforms running toward the hotel after the bombing at its gate.

Its sister hotel, the Nasahablod, was targeted by Al Shabab in a similar attack that killed 11 people in June previous year.

One senior police official and a former MP are among the dead.

A third blast has been heard outside of a hotel in Mogadishu and "hellish gunfire" is taking place inside, according to Somali police.

Two mosque attacks kill at least 50 in Afghanistan
During Friday prayers, suicide bombers on Thursday struck a Shiite mosque in Kabul and a Sunni mosque in western Ghor province. In August, more than 40 Shia Muslims were killed in Kabul when Daesh terrorists attacked a mosque packed with worshipers.

A third blast occurred when an attacker detonated a suicide vest.

After the auto which detonated after crashing into the hotel gates, a second bomb in a minibus exploded at a nearby intersection.

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

Police Colonel Mohamed Abdullahi says the bomber stopped outside the heavily fortified hotel and pretended to fix the vehicle before finally turning it around and detonating.

Terror group Al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qaeda, often targets high profile areas in the city.

The al-Shabab extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack and confirmed that its fighters were inside the hotel. There was no immediate claim as to who was responsible for the blast.

A multinational African Union force with 22,000 troops in Somalia is expected to withdraw by the end of 2020.

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