Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

At least 17 dead as three auto bombs explode in Somalia

Somalian flag Somalia car bomb attack leaves at least 20 dead, police say
Kenny Thornton | 10 November, 2018, 21:37

Three vehicle bomb explosions and gunfire rocked the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least 23 people in addition to four gunmen, witnesses and health officials said. A third blast hit the busy street near the hotel about 20 minutes later, according to witnesses.

The blasts occurred near the Sahafi hotel and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) police headquarters.

"We have confirmed 39 civilians died and 40 others were injured in yesterday's blasts", said Mohamed Hussein, a police officer in the city.

Some of the victims were burned beyond recognition when one auto bomb exploded next to a minibus, he said. "Many more were wounded", witness Abdirahman Suleyman told AFP.

"The number of casualties is unknown as bodies are still being pulled from the burning cars", he told Al Jazeera.

Former Somali lawmaker Abdi Barre Jibril said most of the people killed were passersby or passengers in buses or rickshaws. Over the last several years, the group has launched offensives that have killed hundreds of African Union forces from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

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Al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow Somalia's government, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Reports from online sources indicate that militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for Friday's triple bombing in Mogadishu.

Targets have included hotels, military checkpoints and the presidential palace.

At least 16 people had been killed in Somalia, on October 13, in suicide bombings that targeted a restaurant and coffee shop, police said.

There are now around 500 U.S. troops in the Horn of Africa country.

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