By Nimra Noor, International News Writer
On Saturday, October 28, exactly two weeks after Somalia encountered the deadliest incident in its modern history, the country’s capital, Mogadishu, was once again left burning in fire as two car bombs were reported to have killed at least 27 and injured several others outside a hotel. The Islamist group al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the tragic incident, according to Reuters.
Somalia’s local news channel reported that the explosions took place following an important meeting between the Federal government and Federal member states. Smoke was seen rising over the Nasa Hablod Two Hotel as the first car loaded with explosives rammed into the hotel building. The hotel is about 600 meters from the Villa Somalia presidential palace, and is frequently visited by government officials and MPs. Attacking the city’s K5 Junction area, which is lined with government offices, hotels, and restaurants, the first explosion left several building destroyed and set dozens of vehicles on fire.
About two hours later, a second blast took place in the same district, as the ambulances and rescue services reached the scene, evacuating the wounded to nearby hospitals. “It was a car bomb. Two civilians were killed,” Siyad Farah, a police major, told Reuters. A suspect was caught on scene in suspicion of planting explosives.
The explosions were followed by a firefight between militants and the police inside the hotel. According to CNN, the siege of the hotel lasted 15 hours, ending Sunday morning with two militants dead and three others in custody. Two politicians, Abdinasir Garane, a former member of the nation’s parliament, and Madoobe Nuunow, a regional minister, along with a police commander, Colonel Mohamed Yusuf Nur, were killed in the attack.
As stated by BBC, the extremists said they targeted the hotel because of its prominent political guests. A spokesman for al Shabaab said, “We targeted ministers and security officials who were inside the hotel. We are fighting inside.”
The extremist organization, Al Shabaab intends to topple Somalia’s internationally backed government and impose its the organization’s strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law. Employing the same attack strategy of twin car bombing, they had attacked Mogadishu on October 14 as well. At least 277 were killed and about 300 people wounded in the deadliest car bombings in the nation’s modern history.
Referring to the unstable security situation in Somalia, the State Department has requested all US citizen employees to leave the capital city, Mogadishu due to “specific threat information against U.S. personnel on the Mogadishu International Airport,” according to CNN.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 7th print edition.
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