Don't miss




Burundi approves new constitution allowing president to extend time in power

Read more


Populist takeover: Italy approves unprecedented coalition

Read more


Young Nicaraguans lead protests against President Ortega

Read more


Music show: Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee, Snow Patrol & Natalie Prass

Read more


EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn: 'Either we import stability, or we export instability'

Read more


From Italy to Cyprus via Hungary: A look back at key events in Europe

Read more


US-China trade war is 'on hold'

Read more

#TECH 24

Is GDPR a good thing for EU tech companies?

Read more


'The internet is like water, we need to help children understand how to swim'

Read more


Deadly car bomb targets upscale Mogadishu hotel

© afp

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-11-08

At least 11 people were killed on Friday after a car bomb targeted the upscale Maka al Mukarama hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, police sources said. The blast went off at the gates of the hotel, which is popular with Somali politicians.

Around 11 people were killed Friday in a car bomb attack against a top hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, police said.

Police and security forces immediately sealed off the area around the Maka al Mukarama hotel, situated along a busy Mogadishu street and popular with politicians and the elite.

"Some 11 people were killed and a dozen more injured," police official Anshur Nur told AFP close to the scene of the blast.

"I could see several burning cars, dead and injured people on the ground," he said.

Mogadishu is frequently targetted with suicide and car bombings carried out by Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels, who are fighting to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government.

A Somali government official, who asked not to be named, said the attack bore all the hallmarks of Shebab, a group which still controls large parts of rural southern Somalia.

The powerful blast, which was heard across the city, occurred at the gates of the hotel, one of the most expensive in Mogadishu and run by Somalis from the diaspora.

The hotel has a restaurant and a coffee shop known to be popular with the local elite, notably government officials and businessmen, and local reports said the hotel was hosting several VIPs at the time of the blast.

Somalia's Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon blamed "enemies of peace" for the attack.

"I condemn this attack in the strongest terms and send my condolences to the families and friends of all the innocent victims who were killed and wounded. Once again the enemies of peace show their true colours to the world," the prime minister said in a statement.

A look at the al-Shabaab militant group

"These cowardly acts of terrorism will not derail the progress made in Mogadishu and across Somalia. We -- the Somali people and the Somali government -- will stand shoulder to shoulder to defeat these killers. These terrorists will not defeat us but make us stronger."

The attack comes as the African Union force in Somalia (AMISOM) is asking the UN Security Council to boost its numbers by over a quarter to 22,000 as part of efforts to step up offensive operations against the Shebab.

The militants have frequently struck the heart of Mogadishu, and in September claimed responsibility for a massacre at the upmarket Westgate shopping centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that left at least 67 dead.

Shebab said it carried out the attack on the Westgate mall in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia.

Last month officials said Shebab's top suicide bomb-maker was killed in a US army drone strike.

In early October US Navy SEALS struck the Shebab-held southern port of Barawe, but failed to kill or capture the top militant being targetted.



Date created : 2013-11-08


    Al Shabaab threatens to kill hostages in Nairobi mall

    Read more


    MSF halts all operations in Somalia over security fears

    Read more


    At least 19 killed in Mogadishu attacks

    Read more