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14 killed in explosion outside busy hotel in Mogadishu

14 killed in explosion outside busy hotel in Mogadishu

Somalia

Somalia’s security ministry spokesperson says at least 14 people have been killed and 22 wounded when an explosion went off outside a busy hotel in Mogadishu on Thursday .

“So we counted at least 20 civilian casualties, 14 of them were dead, they were all civilians’‘, said Abdi-aziz Ali Ibrahim.

Police and rescue services say the incident was followed by gunfire.

Eye witnesses interviewed by AFP described a car bomb that exploded during rush hour on a busy street in the capital, facing a hotel with significant security features as it was regularly used by several government officials.

Video uploaded to a social media website showed a hospital vehicle arriving as people walked past debris burning on the street in the wake of the blast.

Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility. The group carries out frequent bombings and other attacks in Mogadishu in a campaign to topple Somalia’s Western-backed federal government.

Al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman said his group had carried out the attack.

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