Published: Sun, October 29, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

At least 10 die in 2 auto bombings in Mogadishu

At least 10 die in 2 auto bombings in Mogadishu

A third blast is understood to have been caused by the detonation of an attacker's suicide vest as the militants - reportedly disguised as Somali military personnel - hurled grenades and cut off the building's electricity.

The first explosion was a suicide auto bomb which detonated outside a Mogadishu hotel, where gunfire broke out inside the building.

"About 14 people, a lot of them civilians, were confirmed dead so far and the security forces are still working to ensure the area is clear", said security official Mohamed Moalim Adan.

"Security forces have entered a small portion of the hotel building ... the exchange of gunfire is hellish", he said.

The attack happened as the country's leaders converged in Mogadishu for a high level security meeting following the October 14 truck bombing that killed more than 350 people.

The attack has reportedly been claimed by extremist group al Shabaab through a channel on Telegram.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab claimed yesterday's bombing and hotel assault in a statement on its Andalus radio station.

The hotel and a local restaurant, which are frequentted by Somalia's politicians and civil servants, were being evacuated.

The Nasa Hablod 2 is a popular hotel located in the north of the city whose sister hotel, the Nasa Hablod, was hit by Shabaab militants in June 2016, in an attack that killed 11 people, including a junior minister. The hotel is close to the presidential palace.

Al-Shabab, Africa's deadliest extremist group, claimed responsibility for the attack that killed a baby and two children, a senior Somali police colonel and a former lawmaker, Capt. Mohamed Hussein told the Associated Press.

A staggering 22,000-strong African Union force is expected to withdraw its forced and hand the country's security to the Somali military by the start of 2021. "We are fighting inside", Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group's military operations spokesman, told Reuters.

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