Mogadishu car bombing death toll now at 22

The death toll from the car bomb attack on SYL Hotel near the presidential palace in the restive Mogadishu on Tuesday has risen to 22 while 30 others were injured, emergency service operators confirmed.

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Abdulkadir Andirahman Haji Aden, head of the city’s Amiin ambulance service, said some security officers including five women were among those who were killed when a car exploded near the presidential palace in the capital city.

Aden said his emergency service transported 22 dead bodies and 30 injured people after the blast which also left a minister, several lawmakers and two local radio journalists injured.

Mahad Farah, a police officer at the scene, told Xinhua that the explosion happened a few meters from the SYL Hotel entrance when security guards fired at the car which they suspected was about to launch an attack .

SYL hotel is very close to Somalia’s presidential place and is frequented by senior government officials including diplomats. The hotel had twice come under similar attacks in recent months with the latest being in February.

Al-Qaida allied military group, Al-Shabaab which is battling the UN-backed government, claimed responsibility for the latest attack, saying it attacked the hotel because it is close to the presidential palace, and also home to “apostates and unbelievers.”

The group was driven from Mogadishu in 2011 but still remains a potent threat and frequently carries out attacks in the city. Endit

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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