Middle East

Somali capital hit by twin bomb blasts

People gather near the site where a car bomb went off outside the Oriental hotel, situated in the northern Mogadishu district of Shibis, on February 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Mohamed Abdiwahab

MOGADISHU: Two bomb attacks targeting officials with Somalia's internationally-backed government hit the capital Mogadishu on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring several others, officials and witnesses said.

The first attack hit a car carrying Ahmed Omar Mudane, deputy security commander of the lower Shabelle region, injuring him seriously.

Police said the bomb appeared to have been attached to his car.

A second car bomb went off outside the Oriental hotel, situated in the northern Mogadishu district of Shibis and home to several Somali government officials.

Eyewitness Yusuf Abdukadir said he saw the dead body of a security guard outside the hotel after the blast, and said a number of cars were also destroyed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels frequently strike in the heart of Mogadishu and target hotels that house government officials.

"A car bomb explosion occurred near the Oriental hotel, the car was parked near the hotel and detonated. There are some casualties," said Mohamed Nure, a Somali police official.

"This is the second explosion today. Police are still investigating another explosion which seriously injured a security official from lower Shabelle," he added.





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