Death toll from Somalia hotel attack rises to 39

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MOGADISHU (Reuters) – The number of people killed when suicide bombers and gunmen struck a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital has risen to 39 from the initial 22, police said on Saturday.

Guards at the Sahafi hotel and the adjacent CID office opened fire after two suicide car bombs went off on Friday afternoon, A third explosion from a bomb placed in a three-wheeled “tuk-tuk” vehicle near the hotel also hit the busy street.

“We have confirmed 39 civilians died and 40 others were injured in yesterday’s blasts,” said Mohamed Hussein, a police officer in the city.

“The death toll may rise because some people are still missing.”

The militant Islamist group al Shabaab, linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Hotel Sahafi, which is near the headquarters of Somalia’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

Somalia has been engulfed by violence and lawlessness since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in the early 1990s.

Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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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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