A car bomb has exploded near the presidential palace in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 30 others, according to security officials.
“A speeding car drove towards us. We fired warning shots into the air. It did not stop and then we fired at the car before the attacker detonated his explosive-laden car,” a presidential security guard told VOA Somali on condition of anonymity.
The car hit the wall of SYL Hotel close to the presidential compound, Villa Somalia.
Among those injured in the blast are two government ministers, two parliament members and two journalists who were inside the hotel at the time of the explosion.
Al-Shabab militants often attack hotels in Mogadishu, as these are popular meeting places for government officials. The group attacked the SYL hotel in February, killing at least nine people.