Three dead in Somalia vehicle bombings

Bombs kill at least 7 in Mogadishu

At least six people were killed and eight others injured in a auto bombing outside the popular Nasahablod 2 Hotel in Mogadishu on Saturday.

"So far at least seven people including soldiers and civilians died", Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters.

A police commander and a former MP are among the dead, following a suicide vehicle bombs detonating as it rammed into the gate of a hotel close to the capital city's presidential palace.

One senior police official and a former MP are among the dead. Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the vicinity.

The Shabaab has made attacks on hotels - commonly beginning with a suicide auto bombing followed by an invasion by gunmen - a regular strategy in its decade old battle to overthrow successive internationally-backed governments in Mogadishu.

Initial reports say at least 10 people were killed in the first explosion and 6 others were injured.

"Security forces have entered a small portion of the hotel building. the exchange of gunfire is hellish", he said.




President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohammed, escaped death on Saturday, after the al-Shabab militant group attacked Hotel Naasa-Hablood, where he was scheduled to hold a meeting.

The group is believed to be behind a Mogadishu truck bomb attack two weeks ago that killed more than 350 people.

"The Mujahedeen fighters are inside Nasa Hablod 2 hotel where".

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.

Its sister hotel, the Nasahablod, was targeted by Al Shabab in a similar attack that killed 11 people in June a year ago. There was no immediate claim as to who was responsible for the blast.

A 22,000-strong multinational African Union force in Somalia is expected to withdraw its forces and hand over the country's security to the Somali military by the end of 2020.

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