Seventeen killed in explosion outside busy hotel in Somalia

Friday March 23 2018

The scene of the blast outside the Weheliye

The scene of the blast outside the Weheliye Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia on March 22, 2018. PHOTO | AFP 

By ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu

At least 17 people were killed and eight others injured in an explosion on Thursday outside a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Security, Abdiaziz Ali Ibrahim, told the media that the wounded were being treated at the city’s hospitals.

“Seventeen people died including a young girl, some workers and persons having tea at roadside teashops popularly known as bibiito,” said Mr Ibrahim.

He said a tricycle taxi, locally known as bajaaj, may have been used for the explosion.

The blast occurred opposite one of Mogadishu’s oldest lodges, the Weheliye Hotel, along the busy Maka al-Mukarrama Avenue.

The jihadist Al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility.

The group carries out frequent attacks in Mogadishu as it seeks to overthrow the internationally recognised Somali government.

In October last year, al Shabaab killed more than 500 people in the deadliest attack at a busy intersection in Mogadishu.

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