The death toll from a late night car bombing near a hotel in Somalia’s capital has left at least 18 dead, with officials fearing the tally could soar as security forces battle Islamic gunmen in surrounding streets.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein said at least 40 others were injured in the attack on Thursday near a hotel and a judge’s residence on a busy street in Mogadishu.
He said early Friday that security forces were still fighting to neutralise some militants holed up inside a building close to Maka Almukarramah hotel, which the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab said had been the target.
In The capital of #Somalia #Mogadishu, Al-qaeda affilliate Al-shabaab suicide bomber blew up a vbied filled with explosive & flammable liquid near Maka-Mukaram Hotel Militants also burst into hotel and opened fire resulting death of atleast 30 people and wounding 40 others. pic.twitter.com/ONBLvkoQke
— SUSHMIT KUMAR [ सुश्मित कुमार ] 🇮🇳 (@OFFICIALSUSHMIT) March 1, 2019
Witnesses said the hotel was hit by a suicide bomber, with a guerilla squad of Al-Shabab opening fire on rescue workers and police who raced to the scene.
While the death toll stands officially at 18, officials fear many of those rushed to hospital with horrific injuries will not survive.
Al-Shabab has targeted the Maka Almukarramah hotel, which is frequently patronised by government officials, multiple times in the past.