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Car Bomb in Mogadishu Hotel Kills at Least 29

Somali soldier inspect wreckage of vehicles after a car bomb that was detonated in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Oct. 28.Somali soldier inspect wreckage of vehicles after a car bomb that was detonated in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Oct. 28.

A “hellish” gun battle erupted at a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu after militants rammed a car bomb into the gates and stormed the building.

A second car bomb targeted the former parliament house nearby, and a third blast was reported when an attacker detonated a suicide vest at the hotel, Sky News reported.

At least 29 people, including many policemen, were killed in Saturday’s coordinated attacks, and more than 30 others were wounded.

A police commander and a former MP are also reportedly among the dead.

More than 20 people, including government officials, were believed to have been trapped as security forces battled extremists holed up on the top floor of the Nashablod Two hotel, close to the presidential palace.

One officer describing a “hellish” gun battle as security forces stormed part of the building.

The attacks have been claimed by terrorist group al Shabaab.

The car bomb detonated after crashing into the hotel gates, a second bomb in a minibus exploded at a nearby intersection.

The second explosion “occurred at the ex-parliament house where there were (military) forces,” a police officer said.

A third blast is understood to have been caused by the detonation of an attacker’s suicide vest as the militants —reportedly disguised as Somali military personnel— hurled grenades and cut off the building’s electricity.

According to reports, al Shabaab also broadcast a statement on its Andalus radio station, claiming: “Mujahedeen fighters are inside Nashablod Two hotel where... apostate officials are staying.”

Al Shabaab, which is affiliated with al Qaeda, has killed hundreds of Somalis as it seeks to impose its strict interpretation of Islamic law.

 

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