Monday, July 27, 2015

Somalian Foreign Minister Says Al-shabab Attacks Will Not Deter International Community’s Presence in Mogadishu
July 27, 2015

Following a massive suicide attack that hit a popular hotel near Adden Adde Airport in Mogadishu, Somali Foreign Minister Abdisalan Hadliye Omar reassured the country that Al-shabab attacks will not deter International community’s presence in Somalia, RBC Reports.

“The presence of Ambassadors and their staff in Somalia will not be influenced by the attacks of Al-shabab in Mogadishu and Somalia at large,” Said the foreign minister of the federal republic of Somalia.

Speaking on Sunday’s deadly attack on Jaziira Palace hotel that left over 20 people dead, the minister further said the security agencies have being put into high alert and will counter such threats.

Mogadishu has enjoyed a relative stability since the Al-qaida affiliated militants were driven out of the war-ravaged capital city in 2011.

Al-shabab has claimed yesterday’s attack on Jazeera Hotel.

Raxanreeb Online

12 Are Killed in Bombing Outside Hotel in Somalia

New York Times
JULY 26, 2015

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A vehicle packed with explosives detonated outside a landmark Mogadishu hotel long favored by diplomats and top government officials, killing at least 12 people and wounding many more, witnesses and the authorities said on Sunday.

The Jazeera Palace Hotel, close to both Mogadishu’s airport and a United Nations compound, was heavily guarded and had been considered one of the safer places in the city, despite previous attacks. But on Sunday afternoon, a suicide bomber, driving on Airport Road, got to within about 100 feet of it before triggering a thunderous blast that ravaged the hotel and sent smoke billowing skyward.

The Shabab, an Islamist extremist group, claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it was in retaliation for the killing of civilians during a recent offensive by Somali and African Union troops against Shabab forces in the southern part of the country.

Most of the people known to have been killed or wounded were pedestrians or motorists. It was not immediately clear if the bombing, which also destroyed several neighboring houses, had caused injuries or deaths inside the hotel.

A man who lives near the hotel said he was watching television when the blast occurred.

“Once the explosion happened, I saw myself laying on the ground and the television set as I was watching broke apart onto the ground,” said the man, who asked not to be identified because he feared for his safety.

Another resident said he had seen at least 10 bodies. Hotel employees said on Sunday evening that at least three of its guards were among the dead.

Mohamed Abdikarim, a journalist with Universal TV, a Somali network that has its headquarters in London, was killed in the attack, and a colleague, Salmaan Jamaal, was wounded. They had been in a car on Airport Road, according to Abdullahi Hersi, the East Africa director of Universal TV.

“We will miss Mohamed,” Mr. Hersi said. “He was our correspondent in the Gedo region and was on a business trip to Mogadishu.”

Photographs from the scene showed the hotel in ruins. It housed several embassies, including those of Qatar, Egypt and China.

In a statement, Somalia’s president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, strongly condemned the bombing, which he called a terrorist attack.

“The terrorists want to obstruct the people’s choice to live in peace, which will never happen,” he added.

The recent African Union and Somali campaign against the Shabab seized two strategic towns, Bardera in the Gedo region and Dinsoor in the Bay region, as well as several villages. The offensive unfolded shortly before President Obama’s visit to East Africa.

In his statement, Mr. Mohamud said that those defeats had led the militants to attack civilians.

In January 2014, the police beat back an assault on the hotel by armed gunmen and suicide bombers. In September 2012, suicide bombers tried to assassinate Mr. Mohamud at the hotel shortly after his election.

The Shabab also claimed responsibility for the killing of a lawmaker in Mogadishu on Saturday.

Somalia blast: Mogadishu hotel rocked by bomb

26 July 2015

At least 13 people have been killed and more than 40 others injured in a huge bomb explosion at a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

A BBC correspondent in the city says a lorry was used to attack the Jazeera Palace Hotel near the airport.

He said it was one of the worst scenes of destruction he has witnessed in Mogadishu.

Somali militant Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The al-Qaeda linked group said it was responding to assaults by an African Union force and the Somali government.

The blasts came as US President Barack Obama was leaving Kenya for Ethiopia, at the end of a trip during which he had discussions about dealing with the threat from al-Shabab.

The US condemned the "abhorrent" attack which "purposefully and cruelly targeted innocent civilians," a National Security Council statement said.

International diplomats often stay at Jazeera Palace Hotel, which has been targeted in the past. It also accommodates several embassies including those of China, Qatar and Egypt.

A Chinese embassy worker was among the dead as well as three members of the hotel staff, the BBC's Mohamed Moalimu reports.

Al-Shabab is battling Somalia's government for control of the country. While security in Somalia has improved, the group still attacks Mogadishu regularly.

On Saturday, a member of the Somali parliament and an official from the prime minister's office were killed in separate attacks in the capital claimed by al-Shabab.

In recent days the group has lost two of its remaining strongholds - the south-western town of Bardere and the south-eastern town of Dinsor. Both had been under al-Shabab control since 2008.

The militants have also targeted neighbouring countries, killing almost 150 people in an assault on Garissa University College in Kenya in April.

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