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5 killed in Mogadishu suicide bombing outside hotel

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Mogadishu, Feb 1 (IANS) At least five people were killed and several others injured in a suicide car bombing outside a hotel frequented by government officials in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu, police said.

The attack started at 5 p.m. on Sunday when a car packed with explosives exploded outside the Afrik Hotel near a busy security checkpoint near Aden Adde International Airport, reports Xinhua news agency.

A police officer told Xinhua that al-Shabab terrorists stormed the hotel after the first blast went off.

“I can confirm that five people were killed in the attack but will give full details later,” said the police officer who declined to be named.

The Al-Shahab terror group which is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government claimed responsibility for the latest attack through its media affiliates, saying its fighters were targeting government officials who were meeting at the facility.

Unconfirmed reports said the former State Minister of Defence is among the survivors of the attack and most of the occupants at the hotel have been rescued.

On February 8, Somalia is scheduled to hold a presidential election.

The insurgents have stepped up their assault against the government and African Union Mission in Somalia bases across south and central parts of the country.




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