Twin blasts rock Mogadishu, several feared killed

Twin blasts rock Mogadishu, several feared killed

Twin blasts rock Mogadishu, several feared killed

Police said earlier a suicide auto bomb had been rammed into a hotel and a former government building had been attacked.

Mohamed Ahmed, a tuk-tuk driver, who was driving by the Nasa-Hablod hotel at the time of the attack, said he "saw a auto exploding at the gate of the hotel".

A suicide vehicle bomb exploded outside a popular hotel in Somalia's capital on Saturday, killing at least 13 people and wounding more than 16, while gunfire could be heard inside, police said.

The police personnel who died had been stationed close to hotel's gate.

The fatalities included a police commander and a former government minister, local reporter Harun Maruf wrote, according to Sky News. The reporter said ambulances transported bodies and wounded people from the scene. Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the vicinity.

In a written statement, the ministry said on its website: "We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist attack". "We are fighting inside", Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group's military operations spokesman, told Reuters.

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Farmajo was scheduled to meet the presidents of the Somalia's five federal republics at the hotel later in the evening, he said.

Witnesses in some previous attacks have said al Shabab fighters disguised themselves by wearing military uniforms.

The al-Shabab extremist group quickly claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack and said its fighters were inside the hotel.

Initial reports say at least 10 people were killed in the first explosion and 6 others were injured.

Saturday's blasts came two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country's worst-ever attack.

There was no claim of responsibility for the lorry bombing on October 14, which was the deadliest in the country's history and triggered nationwide anger.

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