Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 10 in Mogadishu Hotel

By Reuters
February 28, 2019 Updated: February 28, 2019

MOGADISHU—A suicide car bombing targeting a Mogadishu hotel by the terrorist group Al Shabaab on Thursday, Feb. 28, killed at least 10 people and destroyed buildings in the Somali capital’s busiest street, police said.

It was one of the heaviest blasts to have hit Mogadishu in recent times.

It took place in a business center in Maka Al Mukaram street which has hotels, shops, and restaurants, Police Major Mohamed Hussein told Reuters. Cars in the street were set ablaze.

“Over ten people died. A hotel is burning and other buildings were ruined by the blast. Twenty injured people were carried out. We believe more dead bodies are in the ruined buildings,” Police Major Abdullahi Ali said.

Rescuers run as they carry a stretcher in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, on Feb. 28, 2019, after a car bomb exploded close to a major hotel, killing at least 10 people and wounding 25 others. (Abdirazak Hussein Farah/AFP/Getty Images)

Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We targeted and stormed Hotel Maka Al Mukaram. We are still inside it,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab’s spokesman, said.

Ali said he did not believe the terrorists were inside the hotel. “But anything can happen because it is dark in some of the buildings because the blast cut the electric wires,” he said.

Stinking gases from the blast reached several kilometers (miles) away from the scene.

Somalia has been convulsed by lawlessness and violence since 1991.

The terrorist group Al Shabaab is fighting to dislodge a Western-backed government protected by African Union-mandated peacekeepers.

Volunteers and rescue workers evacuate an injured victim outside the Maka Al-Mukarama hotel in the Somalia capital, Mogadishu, on Feb. 28, 2019, after a car bomb exploded, killing at least five people and wounding 25 others. (Abdirazak Hussein Farah/AFP/Getty Images)

By Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar