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Bombs target Somali hotel and police in Mogadishu

Ambulance arrive after twin car blasts in Mogadishu [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 November, 2018

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Three blasts went off on Friday in Somalia's capital, targeting a police headquarters and a popular hotel.

At least 17 people were killed after blasts struck a popular hotel and the police headquarters in Somalia's capital, Reuters reported on Friday.

Twin car bombs detonated in Mogadishu within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast a while later.

The attack took place near the Sahafi Hotel and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) police headquarters.

Hotel guards and CID officers opened fire after the twin blasts. A third blast hit the busy street near the hotel about 20 minutes later, according to witnesses. 

Police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP that "more than 10 people died, most of them civilians and some security guards".

The exact target was not initially clear.

Mogadishu faces frequent bombings at the hands of Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate which has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed Somali government for over a decade.

Al-Shabaab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011.

But they still control parts of the countryside and attack government, military and civilian targets, seemingly at will, in Mogadishu and regional towns.

In 2017, Somalia saw the deadliest attack in its history after a truck bombing killed more than 500 people in the capital. 

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