Somalia: Twin car bomb blasts rock Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Two explosions heard in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu on Saturday afternoon ahead of a key meeting between Federal government and Federal member states, killing at least 10 people, Garowe Online reports.
A witness told GO that a car packed with explosives went off outside Nasa Hablod hotel, located few meters away from the heavily guarded Presidential Palace, Villa Somalia in the heart of the seaside city.
A thick plume of black smoke was seen rising from the area near the vicinity of the popular hotel which is frequented by government officials and MPs.
Ahmed Hassan, a Somali Police confirmed to GO that a second car bomb exploded in the same area as the ambulances were on the scene and evacuating the wounded to nearby hospitals for treatment.
The explosions were followed by heavy gunfire. A Police official and former lawmaker were among the dead. Reports from the scene indicate that the hotel is under siege and militants are fighting inside.
The Police commander - Colonel Mohamed Yusuf Nur alias (Fanah), who was in charge of Deynile district died in the first blast as he was outside the hotel before the gun attack started, according to Hassan.
Al Shabaab has immediately claimed the responsibility for the twin car bomb blasts which took place as Somali leaders are expected to convene a meeting on Sunday, 29th October to discuss the current political rift.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.