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Monday 23 July 2018

Traders and pedestrians killed in bomb attack on Somalia hotel

The blast came in capital city Mogadishu which has often been a target for the militant al Shabab group.

Somalis stand outside a destroyed building and destroyed cars after a car bomb in Mogadishu (Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP)
Somalis stand outside a destroyed building and destroyed cars after a car bomb in Mogadishu (Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP)

By Abdi Guled

At least 14 people were killed and 10 others wounded in a car bomb blast near a hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, officials have said.

Captain Mohamed Hussein said the explosion occurred near the Weheliye hotel on the busy Makka Almukarramah road.

The road has been a target of attacks in the past by the Somalia-based extremist group al Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa.

Most of the casualties were passers-by and traders, Capt Hussein said.

The toll of dead and wounded was announced by security ministry spokesman Abdulaziz Hildhiban.

Al Shabab frequently attacks Mogadishu’s high-profile areas such as hotels and military checkpoints.

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Somalis help a wounded civilian after the car bomb exploded in Mogadishu (Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP)

A lorry bombing in October killed 512 people in the country’s deadliest-ever attack.

Only a few attacks since 9/11 have killed more people. Al Shabab was blamed.

Thursday’s blast comes almost exactly a month after two car bomb blasts in Mogadishu shattered a months-long period of calm in the city, killing at least 21 people.

The Horn of Africa nation continues to struggle to counter the Islamic extremist group.

Concerns have been high over plans to hand over the country’s security to Somalia’s own forces as a 21,000-strong African Union force begins a withdrawal that is expected to be complete in 2020.

The US military, which has stepped up efforts against al Shabab in the past year with dozens of drone strikes, has said Somali forces are not yet ready.

Press Association

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