Suicide car bombers kill at least 17 in Somalia

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Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Suicide attackers set off two car bombs at a hotel near the headquarters of Somalia’s Criminal Investigations Department in Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least 17 people, police said.

Guards at Hotel Sahafi and CID officers opened fire after the blasts, police added. Then, about 20 minutes later, a third explosion hit the busy street, witnesses said.

“So far we have confirmed 17 civilians dead. They were travelling in public vehicles at the scene when the blasts and gunfire occurred. The death toll is sure to rise,” Ali Nur, a police officer in the city, told Reuters.

A Reuters photographer at the scene saw 20 bodies of civilians and several burnt-out shells of mini-buses, motor-bikes and private saloon cars.

Mohammed Hussein, another police officer, had earlier told Reuters that the target of the attack was Hotel Sahafi, which is just opposite the CID office.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Islamists from the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group have mounted regular attacks in the capital.

Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Andrew Heavens, William Maclean

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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