Eight killed in twin suicide attacks on Mogadishu hotel, restaurant

At least eight people were killed in two suicide bombings targeting a popular beach hotel and a restaurant Thursday in the Somali capital Mogadishu, police and witnesses said.

A car laden with explosives rammed into the Beach View Hotel on Lido beach, after which four suspected militants from Islamist group al-Shabaab opened fire at the hotel, police representative Ahmed Aloley said.

"After the blast, I saw at least four armed men run into the hotel, shooting everyone inside and around the hotel," said Mustafa Elmi, a Lido beach visitor.

"I managed to escape with minor wounds, but there were people who were shot dead on the spot," he added.

Another explosion was then reported at a nearby restaurant, Lido Seafood.

"We believe the second blast was also carried out by a suicide bomber," Aloley said.

The casualties reportedly included civilians and a few security guards.

"Electricity has gone off and there is a lot of confusion," rescue worker Omar Halane said.

"It is very hard for ambulances and rescue workers to help the victims due to gunfire between security forces, private guards of the targeted places, and the attackers," he added.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on pro-insurgent radio Andalus.

Lido beach hotels and restaurants are popular with government officials and entrepreneurs.

Somalia's nearly decade-long battle with al-Shabaab has claimed thousands of lives.

Last week, al-Shabaab militants attacked Kenyan peacekeepers at an African Union military base in the southern Somali village of El-Ade.

The terrorist group claimed to have killed 100 Kenyan soldiers.

Last update: Thu, 21/01/2016 - 21:02

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