Vehicle bombs, gunfire kill at least 23 in Somalia

Clay Curtis
November 10, 2018

Following a series of deadly suicide vehicle bombs inside Somalia's capital Mogadishu today, al Qaeda's East African branch, Shabaab, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Twin auto bombs exploded in the capital within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the sky, according to an AFP reporter.

Explosions and gunfire erupted in the area around the Sahafi Hotel and the Somali police force's Criminal Investigations Department. A third blast hit the busy street near the hotel about 20 minutes later, according to witnesses.

Officials on Friday had put the death toll at about 20.

"The target of the attack was the Sahafi hotel and even though the attackers used auto bombs to make their way into the premises, the security forces stopped them", said Ahmed.

Former Somali lawmaker Abdi Barre Jibril said most of the people killed were passersby or passengers in buses or rickshaws.

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Several terrorists were killed trying to enter the Sahafi, security sources told Radio Dalsan.

Insurgents group operating in the country, Al-Shabaab, have reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

"There was chaos after the blast".

The militant group al-Shabab, which has waged an insurgency for more than 10 years, said it carried out the attack. "Abdifatah Abdirashid, the hotel owner, and three of his bodyguards died", Abdiqani said. "Many more were wounded", witness Abdirahman Suleyman told AFP.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Islamists from the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group have mounted regular attacks in the capital.

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