Dozens injured in Mogadishu 'double-tap' suicide bombing

Dozens injured in Mogadishu 'double-tap' suicide bombing
Initial reports coming in from the scene of the twin bombing suggest that al-Shabaab fighters were targeting Somali politicians and other VIPs who were staying at the Dayah hotel.
2 min read
25 January, 2017
The second suicide bomb injured a number of journalists outside the Dayah Hotel [Anadolu]

At least 13 people were killed and dozens others were injured after an attack by the Islamist group al-Shabaab in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday morning.

Two car bombs were detonated outside Dayah hotel's security barrier at around 6am GMT before armed militants stormed the hotel and shot at civilians.

"At least 13 people, including forces and civilians, died in two blasts at the hotel. A dozen others were injured," Major Mohamed Ahmed, a police officer, told Reuters, adding that the death toll was expected to rise.

It is thought that the attack targeted Somali politicians and government officials who were staying at the hotel.

The armed insurgency group has launched a large number of attacks on military and government positions in recent months, as it seeks to overthrow the Somali government.

The first car bomb was detonated outside the gate by a suicide bomber, allowing the militants to enter the hotel. A second suicide bomber hit the hotel shortly after the gunmen started shooting inside the hotel.

A number of journalists were wounded in the second explosion while reporting at the scene on the first car bomb.

Al-Shabaab have not formally claimed responsibility for the attack, however Radio Andalus, which is linked to the Islamist group, reported that "mujahideen [translation: fighters of (lesser) Jihad] had attacked the hotel".

A two-year military campaign has forced al-Shabaab from large urban areas, but the group has continued its attacks from remote rural locations.

United States airstrikes and ground troops from the African Union and Kenya have maintained a constant pressure on fighters, but has not had any lasting effect on the scale or severity of their recent attacks on civilian areas.