At least 11 people were killed in a series of explosions that took place at a hotel frequented by government officials in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu on Wednesday (January 1).
Three bombs exploded within an hour of each other outside the Jazira hotel, which was one of the securest places in Mogadishu, according to Reuters. The first two car bombs were detonated one right after another, followed by gunfire by Somali security forces. Somalia’s police chief told a local radio station that two men who appeared to be suicide bombers were killed when the car bombs exploded as they tried to force their way into the hotel. A third bomb exploded about an hour later when it went off inside a car that military officials were searching.
Reuters reports, “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.
“The attack will be an embarrassment to the government whose survival depends heavily on a near 18,000-strong African peacekeeping force. Donors pump in hundreds of millions of dollars into the Horn of Africa country every year to provide basic services.
“The African forces helped drive al Shabaab out of the capital in August 2011, as well as other major urban centers, but the militants still hold sway over swathes of rural areas.
Islamist suicide bombers attacked the Jazira hotel in September last year as Mohamud was giving a news conference just two days into the job. He and the visiting Kenyan foreign minister were unhurt in that assault.
“An attack on Kenyan shopping mall in September that killed dozens of people highlighted the militants' ability to strike beyond Somalia's borders.”