Jazeera Hotel: Explosions and Gunfire in Mogadishu, Somalia Kill at Least 6

Barwaaqo Hotel and Mubarak Hotel also targeted
January 1, 2014 Updated: January 1, 2014

Explosions from two car bombs and gunfire at the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia on Wednesday left at least six people dead.

The hotel is near the Mogadishu Airport, and is popular with ministers and MPs, reported Harun Maruf of Voice of America. Sources told Maruf that at least five people are dead after the suicide bombing, but possibly as many as 10.

The hotel is also known as Hotel Jazira. One of the targeted Mubarak Hotel, while Barwaaqo Hotel was targeted by hand grenades. Overall, at least six blasts from bombs or grenades have rocked the city on Wednesday evening, reported Radio Dalsan, a local radio station.

Maruf said that police and security personnel are among the dead. “At least 1 MP wounded,” he said. Radio Dalsan said that one soldier is among the dead.

Senior police Capt. Mohamed Hussein, who said six people were dead, said it wasn’t immediately known who was responsible for the blasts outside the Jazeera Hotel near Mogadishu’s international airport on Wednesday night.

However, the al-Qaida-linked Islamic rebels of al-Shabab frequently stage lethal attacks in Somalia near the seat of government and at sites popular with foreigners.

In a radio message Tuesday, a senior al-Shabab commander warned civilians to stay away from government buildings as well as sites controlled or owned by foreigners. The commander, Ali Mohammed Hussein, said attacks were imminent in Mogadishu.

Radio Dalsan added that a car filled with explosives was detonated in a “back parking space” at the Hotel Jazira.

Maruf called the situation “chaotic,” indicating it will take a while for definite death and injury counts to emerge.

“Ex Mogadishu intelligence Chief Khalif Ereg who survived an attempt in March 2013 was at the hotel,” Maruf said. “Unclear if he was the target.”

Maruk later said that four of Ereg’s bodyguards were among those who died.

Story developing; check back for updates

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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