8 killed in Somali hotel car bomb attack

A car apparently packed with explosives hit the main gate of Sahafi Hotel International, one of the best known hotels of the Somali capital Mogadishu, in the early hours of Sunday.
Al-Shabaab, the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group, immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Initial reports indicated that up to 8 persons died while nearly 20 were wounded.
A car apparently packed with explosives hit the main gate of Sahafi Hotel International, one of the best known hotels of the Somali capital Mogadishu, in the early hours of Sunday.
Al-Shabaab, the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group, immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
People dwelling in the vicinity of the hotel testified that the blast occurred at 5:40am in the morning in what seemed to be a suicide mission.
Immediately afterwards, another vehicle reached the area delivering a group of gunmen who got off and entered the hotel. The arriving gunmen met short resistance and there was a fire exchange at the gate before proceeding inside before they stormed inside.
The Sahafi hotel is mainly inhabited by Somali politicians, lawmakers, business people and other well-to-do guests. It is a regular meeting place for very influential people in Mogadishu.
It is situated close to Km4 roundabout, one of the busiest road intersections in Mogadishu. It links the city’s sea port, airport and Villa Somalia, the State House.
Busy intersection
Reports say the dead included the owner of the hotel owner, Mr Abdirashid Shire Ilqayte former transitional prime minister Hassan Abshir Farah, and General Abdikarim Yusuf Dhegabadan, a former deputy army commander of the Somali armed forces.
People dwelling in the vicinity of the hotel testified that the blast occurred at 5:40am in the morning in what seemed to be a suicide mission.
Immediately afterwards, another vehicle reached the area delivering a group of gunmen who got off and entered the hotel. The arriving gunmen met short resistance and there was a fire exchange at the gate before proceeding inside before they stormed inside.
The Sahafi hotel is mainly inhabited by Somali politicians, lawmakers, business people and other well-to-do guests. It is a regular meeting place for very influential people in Mogadishu.
It is situated close to Km4 roundabout, one of the busiest road intersections in Mogadishu. It links the city’s sea port, airport and Villa Somalia, the State House.
Initial reports indicated that up to 8 persons have died while nearly 20 were wounded.
Reports also say the dead include the owner of the hotel owner, Mr Abdirashid Shire Ilqayte former transitional prime minister Hassan Abshir Farah, and General Abdikarim Yusuf Dhegabadan, a former deputy army commander of the Somali armed forces.

SOURCE: AFRICA REVIEW