Friday, February 21, 2020

Deadly car bomb blast rocks Somalia’s capital Mogadishu

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At least 14 people have been killed in a car bomb blast outside a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, according to a government official.

The explosion on Thursday happened near Weheliye hotel on the busy Maka Al-Mukarrama Road.

A spokesman for the Somali interior ministry confirmed the death toll to Al Jazeera, adding that 10 others were wounded in the blast.

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Witnesses at the scene said the powerful blast struck a street filled with civilians.

“Most of the casualties are … people who were spending time to take tea, there was devastation and buildings were damaged,” Mohamednur Abdirahman told AFP News Agency.

“The blast was so huge, a vehicle containing explosives went off near a teashop in front of Weheliye hotel, leaving more than 10 people dead. I saw people being rushed to hospital and some of them were already dead,” another witness, Abdulahi Moalim said.

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The attack was claimed by al-Shabab, Reuters news agency reported, citing the armed group’s military operation spokesman.

Al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally recognised government, is frequently carrying out attacks in and around the capital.

The east African country continues to grapple with a delicate security situation. An African Union Mission to Somalia (known as AMISOM) is expected to withdraw its last troops by 2020.

Thursday’s attack comes about a month after a twin car bombing in Mogadishu left 38 people killed.

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