'28 killed in Shabaab attack on Mogadishu hotel'
HARGEISA: Twenty-eight people were killed today when Al-Shabaab fighters struck a popular Mogadishu hotel, setting off two car bombs and opening fire on security guards, according to the city's main ambulance service.
"The number of casualties we have recorded today is 28 dead and 43 wounded. This is what we have confirmed with our teams but there were also other ambulances which carried some casualties (but) I don't know how many", said Dr Abukadir
Abdirahman Adem, head of the ambulance service.
— Radio Dalsan (@DalsanFM) January 25, 2017
Al-Shabab frequently targets hotels and other public places often visited by government officials and foreigners. Al-Qaida's East African affiliate is fighting to impose a strict version of Islam in the Horn of Africa nation.
In June, gunmen stormed the Nasa-Hablod hotel, killing at least 14 people. Two weeks before that, gunmen killed 15, including two members of parliament, at the Ambassador hotel.
Despite being ousted from most of its key strongholds, al-Shabab continues to carry out deadly guerrilla attacks across large parts of south and central Somalia. Earlier this month, a bomb explosion at a restaurant in Mogadishu killed three, and a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at a security checkpoint near Mogadishu's international airport, killing at least three. That blast occurred a few hundred meters (yards) from the main base of the African Union peacekeeping mission.
Al-Shabab's assaults have threatened this nation's attempts to rebuild from decades of chaos. The presidential election, a key step toward recovery, already has been delayed several times because of security and other concerns.