Civilians killed in Mogadishu explosion

The scene after the explosion near Wehliye Hotel, March 13, 2017 The scene after the explosion near Wehliye Hotel, March 13, 2017 REUTERS - Feisal Omar

13 April 2017
On Monday 13 March 2017 a car bomb exploded near a hotel on the busy Maka al Mukaram street in Mogadishu, killing and injuring many civilians.

The blast occurred in the morning, in front of the entrance of Weheliye hotel, in the Somali capital. The area was very crowded at that time. According to the news agency Reuters, Al-Shabaab, the extremist Islamic group linked to al-Qaida, claimed the responsibility for the explosion. The death toll is uncertain. Early media outlets reported at least six killed, whereas an Al-Shabaab’s spokesman claimed 17 dead. The director of voluntary relief organisation Aamin Ambulance services told Reuters that 13 people were killed and 14 were wounded. The explosion damaged a house, but left the hotel intact.

Earlier on Monday 13 March, two people were injured in another car explosion in Mogadishu. A minibus blasted at a checkpoint after the driver refused to stop and the police shot at it. The only death was the attacker. Authorities blamed Al-Shabaab for this event too.

According to Greg Robin, an IED expert at Nairobi-based think-tank Sahan Research, these kind of assaults are getting more and more common in the Somali capital, with civilians and hotels being especially targeted. Indeed, the number of car bomb attacks has increased from only one in 2015, to six in 2016 and to more than three in 2017 so far.


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