Published On: Tue, Aug 30th, 2016

Truck bomb targets SYL hotel in Mogadishu, 5 dead

At least five people have been killed in a powerful bomb explosion near the presidential palace in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Local media said the Tuesday bomb attack, which partially destroyed two hotels opposite the president’s residents, left 10 people, including a lawmaker, wounded.

“There was a blast close to the SYL hotel area, near the main checkpoint of the presidential palace,” said security officer Ibrahim Mohamed.

A witness said he “saw a car speeding towards the area and huge smoke and fire went up in the sky.”

Local sources reported widespread damage to buildings in the area.

Shortly afterwards, the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the blast.

The Takfiri group said it attacked the SYL hotel because it “is close to the presidential palace, and also home to apostates and unbelievers.”

The hotel had already come under similar attacks in February this year and January 2015.

Al-Shabab has carried out a series of deadly attacks in Somalia over the past years to try to overthrow the government.

On August 26, some 10 people were killed in another al-Shabab car bomb attack targeting a beach restaurant in Mogadishu.

A few days earlier, more than 20 people lost their lives when two bombs hit a local government headquarters in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region.

The African country has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

The group has been pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities by government and African Union troops but continues to carry out attacks in Mogadishu.

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