Bombs kill at least 17 in Somalia's capital Mogadishu

Bombs kill at least 7 in Mogadishu

Two auto bombs have killed at least 17 people in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, in a deadly attack claimed by al-Shabab.

Witnesses in some previous attacks have said al Shabab fighters disguised themselves by wearing military uniforms.

"About 14 people, majority civilians, were confirmed dead so far and the security forces are still working to ensure the area is clear", said security official Mohamed Moalim Adan.

And the Nasa-Hablod hotel was targeted just a year ago, when al-Shabaab gunmen stormed the building, killing at least 14 people and injuring another 25.

One senior police official and a former MP are among the dead.

A few minutes later a auto bomb exploded near the former parliament house nearby.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab claimed yesterday's bombing and hotel assault in a statement on its Andalus radio station.

Mogadishu's Aamin ambulance service has so far removed three bodies from the scene and evacuated 17 wounded, its director Abdukadir Abdurahman told AFP.

A suicide vehicle bomber first drove into a hotel where President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was due to host a meeting on Saturday, following by a auto bombing near a former parliament building.

Witnesses then reported hearing shooting from inside the hotel. "We are fighting inside", said Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group's military operations spokesman. Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the vicinity.

At least 16 people were said to be injured.

"I was very lucky", he added.

The Nasa Hablod 2 is a popular hotel located in the north of the city whose sister hotel, the Nasa Hablod, was hit by Shabaab militants in June 2016, in an attack that killed 11 people.

A taxi driver at the scene told AFP he saw four bodies being carried away, while another witness called Yusuf Moalim said a senior police official appeared to be among the victims, whose vehicle had been near the hotel entrance when the blast occurred.

"Turkey will continue to stand by the Somali people and its government in the fight against terrorism".

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