Mogadishu (HAN) February 27, 2016 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Stability Initiatives News. Up to 20 people have died and scores injured in an explosion in downtown Mogadishu that occurred at around 7.45 pm on Friday evening.
The blast is believed to have been triggered by vehicle loaded with explosive materials.
Somalia’s Internal Security minister Abdirizak Omar Mohamed said the attackers targeted the SYL hotel, which is situated very close to Villa Somalia, the presidential palace in Mogadishu. Other reports indicate that the blast targeted Beerta Nabadda (Peace Garden), a popular recreational facility in the city.
A smaller explosion occurred about half an hour later.
Minister Mohamed said the attackers used a lorry packed with explosives.
Heavy gunfire followed the blasts, suggesting that the hotel’s security personnel confronted the attackers.
Information outlets of Al-Shabaab, the Al-Qaeda linked jihadist group, re-stated that SYL hotel was the target. The information also suggested Al-Shabaab may have carried out the attacks.
This is the third time SYL hotel has come under Al-Shabaab attack. The last time it was targeted was in September 2015.