Somalia: Bomb blasts rattle Mogadishu-Update

Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia-Somalia’s Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group struck several targets in Mogadishu overnight on Friday, killing at least 25 people and leaving 60 others wounded, Garowe Online reports.

Bomb blasts rocked a security checkpoint in front of SYL hotel, causing eight casualties including five intelligence officers manning the checkpoint and three would-be suicide bombers.

Ambulance sirens could be heard across Mogadishu late in the night after bystanders and cars passing by were badly affected by explosives believed to be the heaviest used by beleaguered Somali militants in terrorist attacks.

The blasts shattered nearby buildings, making walls crumble over narcotic khat sellers and people hanging out approximately amid evening prayers.

Many bodies were removed from rubbles according to security officials and medics.

Another suicide attacker detonated his explosives near Peace Garden, a spot popular with entertaining children on Fridays.

Most of the wounded are being treated at Mogadishu’s Daru-Shifa hospital, with poor emergency efforts faulted on gun-battle triggered by car bombs.

The scene of twin blasts is situated a few meters away from the heavily fortified Villa Somalia compound where militants targeted with a barrage of mortar rounds on Thursday.

Somalia’s Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group claimed credit for the attacks, saying they were hitting SYL hotel that was previously hit by suicide blasts.

Somali Information Minister, Mohamed Abdi Hayir Mareye, told the media that intelligence officers denied car packed full of explosives entry into bays of SYL hotel.

“Approximately at 8:45 PM, security forces blocked explosive-laden car at a checkpoint. Bombs went off before reaching entrance to hotel, and soldiers shot and killed four other attackers in another car,” said Mareye.

Galgadud Governor Hussein Weheliye Irfo who was among a group of high profile officials sheltered by SYL hotel has confirmed that Al Shabaab gunmen were unable to break into inside.

Heavy explosion

Truck bomb with explosives weighting 200kg detonated, National Security Minister Abdirizak Omar Mohamed has confirmed.

He said, the truck bomb is believed to be most thunderous, surpassing 150kg Jazeera car bomb in magnitude.

Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke has condemned the heinous terror attacks, saying blasts once more demonstrate vile cruelty of Al Shabaab.

Sharmarke praised security forces for their professionalism of preventing heavy casualties from happening and instructed further vigil in light of heavy explosions.

Somali government forces aided by African Union peacekeepers have dislodged militants from a string of strategic towns in central and southern Somalia as a result of joint onslaughts.

GAROWEONLINE

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