15 people die in Mogadishu hotel bombing
Fifteen people were killed in a bombing targeting a major hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Saturday, police said.
The sound of the explosion was heard at about 4:30 p.m. local time (1330 GMT).
Major Ali Mohamed said, “The operation has now ended but we are still combing the building for any possible militants who are hiding.”
Al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on social networks.
Guards, civilians and militants were among the dead.
Residents said they heard a massive explosion targeting Nasahablood Hotel.
“There is heavy fire going on inside the hotel, it started after the massive explosion but we cannot know what is going on,” Abdihafid Mudey, who lives near the hotel, earlier said.
Shabaab has carried out regular attacks on civilians and security forces in Somalia and neighboring Kenya in a bid to topple the government in Mogadishu.
Shabaab has a history of intensified attacks during Ramadan, a holy month when Muslims frequent mosques and other places for performing religious rituals.
The attack on Saturday came three weeks after a car bombing claimed by Shabaab targeting Ambassador Hotel in the capital. Ten people, including two lawmakers, were killed in the assault outside the six-storey building.