MOGADISHU. — A car bomb exploded at a heavily guarded hotel in the Somali capital city of Mogadishu, leaving at least six people dead. “We have seen around six people killed, most of them hotel security guards,” government security officer Mohamed Jama said yesterday, while speaking about the attack on the Jazeera Palace Hotel.
The hotel, which has so far been hit by several militant attacks, was reportedly “torn apart” by yesterday’s bombing.
A witness, who was inside the hotel at the time of the attack, spoke of “a truck loaded with explosives – and the biggest ever (explosion) around this area.”
The hotel, which houses the diplomatic missions of China, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, is very popular among government officials and foreign visitors. The United Nations and African Union Mission in Somalia are also based in the hotel.
The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants, who have attacked the hotel in the past, claimed responsibility for the blast in a statement.
Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006. Al-Shabaab elements in Mogadishu on Saturday killed MP Abdulahi Hussein Mohamud after opening fire on his car in a southern district of the city. — AFP.