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Somalia: about 20 people killed in the explosion of car bombs in Mogadishu

After the explosion of car bombs in Mogadishu, November 9, 2018 / AFP

After the explosion of car bombs in Mogadishu, November 9, 2018 / AFP

About 20 people were killed and more than 40 wounded on Friday in the explosion of two car bombs by Islamist Shebab and a suicide bomber near a busy hotel in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

"We have about 20 killed in the attack and more than 40 injured, most of them passing civilians at the time of the attack," security official Abdulahi Ahmed said.

According to safety sources and witnesses, two car bombs explode at the Sahafi hotel where Somali politicians reside. A suicide bomber then activated his explosive vest on the same site and armed men tried to enter the hotel.

This hotel, which was hit by an attack in 2015, is near the junction K4, a busy place in the center of Mogadishu. This area includes several hotels, as well as the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

"The target of the attack was the Sahafi Hotel, although the attackers used car bombs to enter the building, security forces arrested them and four Shebab attackers were killed outside," he said. Abdulahi Ahmed.

Witnesses said they saw three armed men wearing Somali army uniforms at the back door of the compound in which the hotel was housed. The suicide bomber blew himself up for the front door.

Somalis on the scene of two auto-bombings, Mogadishu, November 9, 2018 / AFP

Somalis on the scene of two auto-bombings, Mogadishu, November 9, 2018 / AFP

The report was confirmed to AFP by a member of the Aamin ambulance service, Bashir Hassan Farah, who said he saw the bodies of 20 people, mostly civilians.

This attack has been claimed by shebab of Islamic insurgents. "Armed members of the Shebab carried out a complex attack on the Sahafi Hotel in Mogadishu, where prominent Somali government officials live," they announced on a site that supported their purpose.

"The attack started with the explosion of a car bomb driven by a martyr and the hunters entered the building," she added, noting that they had made victims without encrypting them.

– The same procedure –

The Shebab regularly use trapped vehicles for their attacks, the explosion of which often precedes the action of a heavily armed command to kill as many victims as possible.

They have used the same method in recent years against some of the most prominent hotels in Mogadishu.

According to family, the son of the former owner of the Sahafi hotel, Abdirashid Ilqeyte, a businessman who died in November 2015 during the previous attack, was killed.

The car bombs largely destroyed the hotel's security district, which was fortified, and several surrounding shops were also blown away by the violence of the explosions.

"It was chaos after the explosion and vehicles, including buses with civilians, burnt on the streets, I could see people screaming as they exited the buses," one witness told AFP. Fadumo Ali.

"This area is still closed and it is normal that there are traffic jams, it has increased the number of victims," ​​another witness added, Awil Mohamed.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab has sworn the loss of the Somali federal government, supported by the international community and the 20,000-strong African Union force in Somalia (Amisom).

They were expelled from Mogadishu in 2011 and the Shebab lost most of their strongholds. But they still control large rural areas from which they carry out guerrilla operations and suicide attacks, including in the Somali capital, against government, security or civilian targets.



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