SOMALIA – MORE VIOLENCE

RE POSTED FROM             PRESSTV

PressTV-Six killed in Somalia hotel blast

 

Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:44PM

People gather at the site of an explosion at the Weheliye Hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, July 10, 2015. (© AFP)

People gather at the site of an explosion at the Weheliye Hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, July 10, 2015. (© AFP)

A car bomb has exploded at a heavily guarded hotel in the Somali capital city of Mogadishu, leaving at least six people dead.

“We have seen around six people killed, most of them hotel security guards,” government security officer Mohamed Jama said on Sunday, while speaking about the attack on the Jazeera Palace Hotel.

The hotel, which has so far been hit by several militant attacks, was reportedly “torn apart” by the Sunday bombing.

A witness, who was inside the hotel at the time of the attack, spoke of “a truck loaded with explosives – and the biggest ever (explosion) around this area.”

The hotel, which houses the diplomatic missions of China, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, is very popular among government officials and foreign visitors. The United Nations and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are also based in the hotel.

Somali workers clear a road in Mogadishu an attack on a hotel, July 11, 2015. (© AFP)

 

The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants, who have attacked the hotel in the past, claimed responsibility for the blast in a statement.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

Al-Shabab elements in Mogadishu on Saturday killed MP Abdulahi Hussein Mohamud after opening fire on his car in a southern district of the city.

The militants have been pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities across the African country by government troops as well as AMISOM forces, which is largely made up of soldiers from Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

However, the al-Shabab militants, who have been attempting to oust the central government in Somalia, have continued to launch attacks on Mogadishu despite being driven out from their bases in the seaside city in 2011