Death toll from Somalia hotel attack rises to 39

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A Somali security officer looks toward the scene of twin car bombs that exploded within moments of each other in the Somali capital Mogadishu on November 9, 2018. (AFP)
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A Somali soldier uses his mobile phone at the scene of twin car bombs that exploded within moments of each other in the Somali capital Mogadishu on November 9, 2018. (AFP)
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The scene following twin car bombs that exploded within moments of each other in the Somali capital Mogadishu on November 9, 2018. (AFP)
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The scene following twin car bombs that exploded within moments of each other in the Somali capital Mogadishu on November 9, 2018. (AFP)
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Somali security officers run from the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia November 9, 2018. (Reuters)
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Somali security officers run from the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia November 9, 2018. (Reuters)
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Smoke billows from the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia November 9, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 10 November 2018

Death toll from Somalia hotel attack rises to 39

  • Suicide attackers set off 4 bombs at a hotel near the headquarters of Somalia’s Criminal Investigations Department
  • Militant group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on the Hotel Sahafi in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU: Suicide attackers set off two car bombs at a hotel in Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least 39 people, police said.

Previous reports had indicated 29 fatalities from the attack, but police confirmed a total of 39 civilians died with 40 others injured.


The militant extremist group Al-Shabab, linked to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Hotel Sahafi, which is near the headquarters of Somalia’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
Hotel guards and CID officers opened fire after the blasts, police added. Then, about 20 minutes later, a third explosion from a bomb placed in a three-wheeled “tuk-tuk” vehicle near the hotel hit the busy street, witnesses said.
Some of the victims were burned beyond recognition when one car bomb exploded next to a minibus, said a police official.




The scene following twin car bombs that exploded within moments of each other in the Somali capital Mogadishu on November 9, 2018. (AFP)

“Four militants who attempted to enter the hotel were shot dead by our police and the hotel guards,” police captain Mohamed Ahmed told Reuters.
“Two other militants were suicide car bombers who were blown up by their car bombs. The third car was remotely detonated. So in total 28 people died, including the six militants.”
Abdifatah Abdirashid, who took over the Sahafi from his father after he was killed in a militant attack in 2015, was among those who died in Friday’s attack, said Mohamed Abdiqani, a witness at the hotel.
“The militants who entered the hotel compound faced heavy gunfire from the hotel guards. Abdifatah Abdirashid, the hotel owner, and three of his bodyguards died,” Abdiqani said.
“Although they failed to access the hotel, the blasts outside the hotel killed many people,” the police official said.
“The street was crowded with people and cars, bodies were everywhere,” said Hussein Nur, a shopkeeper who suffered light shrapnel injuries on his right hand. “Gunfire killed several people, too.”
A Reuters photographer at the scene saw 20 bodies of civilians and burnt-out minibuses, motorbikes and cars.




Somali security officers run from the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia November 9, 2018. (Reuters)

Abdiasisi Abu Musab, Al-Shabab’s spokesman for military operations, said the group had singled out the Sahafi for attack because of its association with the government the extremists want to overthrow.
“We targeted it because it acts as government base. Government officials and security forces are always in the hotel,” he told Reuters.
Somalia has been engulfed by violence and lawlessness since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in the early 1990s.

 

* With Reuters and AP.


Bangladesh court indicts Islamist militants for 2015 killing

Updated 13 October 2019

Bangladesh court indicts Islamist militants for 2015 killing

  • In October 2015, suspected militants hacked Faisal Abedin Deepan of the Jagriti Prokashoni publishing house

DHAKA: A court in Bangladesh’s capital has indicted eight suspected Islamist militants tied to a banned group over the 2015 killing of a man who published books on secularism and atheism.
Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal Judge Majibur Rahman read out the charges to six of the suspects on Sunday while they pleaded not guilty. Another two, including a sacked military official, remained fugitives, but the judge issued arrest warrants for them. Police say they belong to the domestic militant outfit Ansar al Islam.
In October 2015, suspected militants hacked Faisal Abedin Deepan of the Jagriti Prokashoni publishing house. He was a publisher of Bangladeshi-American writer and blogger Avijit Roy, who was hacked to death in February 2015.
Several other atheists and bloggers were killed by suspected militants in 2015.