Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Family tragedy of Somalia's Mogadishu hotel owners

Family tragedy of Somalia's Mogadishu hotel owners

A series of auto bombings killed at least 18 people and injured 45 in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Friday, Police Capt.Daahir Kulane said.

A third bomb was hidden in an unmanned vehicle that had been parked at a nearby auto park, police said.

Hotel guards and CID officers opened fire after the twin blasts. A third explosion took place on the street minutes later, Reuters reported.

An initial "two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi hotel along the main road", said police official Ibrahim Mohamed, who earlier gave a preliminary toll of more than 10 dead.

Insurgents group operating in the country, Al-Shabaab, have reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. "Most of these people were civilians who were passing by the area when the attack occurred", Abdulahi Ahmed, a Somali security official, said. They said the security forces eventually killed the assailants and rescued dozens of people from hotel rooms.

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Mohamed Abshir from Amin ambulance service told Efe that 14 people were killed, while the ambulance service said on Twitter that it had transported 45 injured people to hospitals.

"Most of these people were civilians and almost 20 of them died in minibuses that were passing by the road when the blast occurred", he added. "I could see people screaming as they fled the buses", witness Fadumo Ali told AFP on Friday. "Abdifatah Abdirashid, the hotel owner, and three of his bodyguards died", Abdiqani said.

The militant Islamist group al Shabaab, linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Hotel Sahafi, which is near the headquarters of Somalia's Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

Al-Shabaab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011.

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