MOGADISHU – The death toll of three car-bomb explosions carried out outside a luxury hotel in the Somali capital has now risen to 30, medical sources confirmed on Saturday.
The Somali terror group Al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attacks, which took place Friday afternoon on a busy street near a checkpoint that controls access to Mogadishu International Airport.
Mohamed Abshir, a worker for Amin – the only free ambulance service operating in Mogadishu – told local media that the death toll had risen after some of the hundreds of injured succumbed to their wounds and more bodies were recovered from the scene.
The first two blasts took place almost simultaneously at 4 pm outside the Sahafi hotel, while the third came 20 minutes later in the garage of the adjacent Hayat hotel.
Several terrorists were killed trying to enter the Sahafi after the explosions, security sources told Radio Dalsan on Friday.
The two hotels are located just a few meters away from the Criminal Investigation Division’s headquarters in an area full of restaurants and bars.
Among the dead was Sahafi owner Abdifatah Abdirashid, whose father was killed in a similar attack on the same hotel three years ago, according to Radio Dalsan.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that the Somalis would not be dissuaded in their search for a lasting peace and political stability and sent his condolences to the families of the victims.
Al-Shabaab, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda, controls part of the territory in the center and south of the African country and aims to establish an Islamic state in Somalia based on the Wahhabi version of Islam.
The group has carried out various attacks in the African country, including strikes against the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military bases, killing hundreds of soldiers from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda or Ethiopia.