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Mogadishu hotel targeted by bombs, at least one killed

Source: Reuters - Wed, 1 Jan 2014 06:16 PM
Author: Reuters
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MOGADISHU, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Three bombs exploded within an hour outside the front of a hotel popular with government officials in a heavily fortified district of the Somali capital on Wednesday, killing at least one person.

The first two bombs came in quick succession and were followed by heavy bursts of gunfire by Somali security forces. The third blast took place about an hour later when a bomb went off inside a car that was being searched by the military.

"First we heard a big crash and the security forces immediately opened fire," said Abdullahi Hussein who lives 300 metres behind the hotel. "After a few minutes another explosion took place and there was more gunfire."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Islamist rebel group al Shabaab has carried out a campaign of attacks over the past two and a half years in Mogadishu, underscoring the huge security challenges the government faces.

Al Shabaab suicide bombers have targeted the Jazira hotel before, in an attack late last year.

A doctor at the Madina hospital said at least one body and 10 wounded people had been brought in. (Reporting by Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar; Editing by Richard Lough and ALison Williams)

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