15 killed in Mogadishu hotel blast

Mogadishu, July 26 (IANS) At least 15 people were killed and a number of others injured in a blast at a hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Sunday, police said.

A suicide bomber blew up his car at the gate of the Jazera Hotel, located near the Mogadishu international airport, police officer Abdulle Mohamed told Xinhua.

He said most of the dead were civilians. Their bodies have been pulled out from the rubble. Hotel guards were also among the dead.

“We were able to retrieve bodies from the rubble. Some of the buildings of the hotel collapsed due to the force of the explosion,” he said.

Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a “revenge” for the recent operation by Somali forces in Dinsoor and Bardhere regions.

Somali police commander General Mohamed Hassan said security agencies have sealed off the scene for further investigation.

Jazera is one of the luxury hotels in the city, and sometimes hosts high-level government meetings.

The attack comes a day after a Somali lawmaker was killed in Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab also claimed responsibility for the killing.

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