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29 October 2017, 01:56 | Floyd Cook
Double car bombing strikes Mogadishu
Extremists attacked a Mogadishu hotel Saturday with a vehicle bomb, a suicide vest, grenades and firearms, killing at least 23 people, including a baby, wounding more than 30 and trapping dozens of people on the building's upper floors.
"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.
That attack also began when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden auto outside the hotel which was then stormed by gunmen, provoking an assault that lasted several hours and only ended when special forces killed three attackers inside.
Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of Amin ambulances, told Reuters the emergency service had carried 17 people injured from the hotel blast.
The second auto bomb exploded near the former parliament building, and the extent of damage caused by the second explosion is not yet clear. One senior police official and a former MP were among the dead.
Following the blasts yesterday, witnesses reported hearing gunfire at the Nasa Hablod Hotel 2 which was sealed off by security forces with gunmen believed to be inside.
Security officials said Saturday's bomber had pretended his truck had broken down outside the gate.
It has not commented on the massive attack two weeks ago; experts have said the death toll was so high that the group hesitated to further anger Somali citizens as its pursues its insurgency.
A third blast occurred when an attacker detonated a suicide vest.
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.
Somali reportedthat the number killed was at least three.
Somali-based insurgent group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and said its fighters remain inside the hotel.
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