Family tragedy of Somalia's Mogadishu hotel owners

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 10, 2018

Twin vehicle bombs detonated in Mogadishu within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast a while later.

Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the bombs, according to the group's Adalus radio station.

Guards at the Sahafi hotel and the adjacent CID office opened fire after two suicide auto bombs went off on Friday afternoon.

At least 17 people were killed after blasts struck a popular hotel and the police headquarters in Somalia's capital, Reuters reported on Friday.

"We have confirmed 39 civilians died and 40 others were injured in yesterday's blasts", Mohamed Hussein, a police officer in the city told the Reuters news agency.

Hotel guards and CID officers opened fire after the blasts, police added. "So in total 28 people died, including the six militants". Then, about 20 minutes later, a third explosion hit the busy street, witnesses said.

Police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP that "more than 10 people died, majority civilians and some security guards".

Somali security forces shot dead four gunmen who tried to storm through a hole blown into the hotel's wall but did not succeed in entering, he said.

Sahafi Hotel owner Abdifatah Abdirashid was a renowned businessman who took over running the hotel from his father, Abdirashid Mohamed. They said the security forces eventually killed the assailants and rescued dozens of people from hotel rooms.

A Reuters photographer at the scene saw 20 bodies of civilians and several burnt-out shells of mini-buses, motor-bikes and private saloon cars.

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