Muslim Times(Web Desk) – A car bomb has killed at least 14 people and injured several others near a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu, the country’s security sources say.
Issuing a statement on Thursday, spokesman for Somali Security Ministry, Abdulaziz Hildhiban, said at least 10 other people were also injured in the blast.
Another security official, Capt. Mohamed Hussein, said that the car bomb exploded near the Weheliye hotel on the busy Makka Almukarramah road, which has been a frequent target of attacks by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab terrorist group in the past.
Al-Shabab group has claimed responsibility for Thursday attack.
He added that most of the casualties were passers-by and traders.
The blast comes about a month after at least 45 people were killed and several others injured when a pair of car bombings, carried out by al-Shabab terrorist group, hit Mogadishu.
Back in October last year, more than 500 people lost their lives in twin bomb blasts in the capital. The bomb attacks were the deadliest since al-Shabab started an insurgency in 2007. The government blamed the al-Shabab for the carnage, but the terror group did not claim responsibility for that incident.
The Takfiri militant group was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011, but still controls large parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets in Mogadishu and regional towns.
The group, which wants to overthrow the Somali government, has already claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians across East Africa and thousands of Somalis in a decade-long insurgency. The extremist outfit is just one of the challenges facing the new Somali government, which is still struggling to expand its authority beyond the capital and other selected areas.
A 22,000-strong multinational African Union force in Somalia is expected to pull out and hand over the country’s security to the Somali military by the end of 2020.