Bomb blasts kills 17 in Mogadishu

Bombs kill at least 7 in Mogadishu

Bombs kill at least 7 in Mogadishu

No one has claimed responsibility for that attack.

Police Colonel Mohamed Abdullahi says the bomber stopped outside the heavily fortified hotel and pretended to fix the vehicle before finally turning it around and detonating.

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

Civilians assist a man, injured from a suicide auto bomb explosion, at the gate of Nasahablod Two Hotel in Hamarweyne district of Mogadishu, Somalia. Two of the five attackers were killed on the first floor, Mr. Hussein said.

The Nasa-Hablod hotel is frequented by government ministers, lawmakers and Somali business leaders.

The Somali capital Mogadishu was struck by twin vehicle bombings claimed by Al Shabab on Saturday, the first major attack in city since a lorry bombing two weeks ago that left more than 350 dead.

"I think they were al-Shabab fighters who were trying to storm the hotel", he said, lying on a hospital bed.

A huge cloud of smoke rose over the scene and a Reuters witness saw over a dozen wrecked cars and bloodstains in front of the hotel. The dead also included a former politician, he said.

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Witnesses in some previous attacks have said al Shabab fighters disguised themselves by wearing military uniforms. Capt. Mohamed Hussein says the death toll could rise.

According to an Al Jazeera tally, since the start of this year, more than 20 explosions have targeted Mogadishu, killing at least 500 people and injuring more than 630.

"The first attack was caused by a suicide vehicle bomber targeting the Nasa-hablood hotel; at least 10 people were killed, more than eight others wounded".

"Sporadic gunfire" was continuing with at least two gunmen from the Shabaab Islamist group believed to be inside the Nasa Hablod Hotel 2, he added.

On Oct. 14, more than 300 people were killed and another 300 injured in a truck bombing in the city.

The police personnel who died had been stationed close to hotel's gate.

"The Mujahedeen fighters are inside Nasa Hablod 2 hotel where... apostate officials are staying", it said.

Saturday's blast in Somalia's capital comes two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country's worst-ever attack. The violent group often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu.

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