Somali police yesterday announced that the death toll from a car bomb blast that targeted a hotel close to the presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu on Tuesday has risen. Fifteen people were killed in the attack and 45 others were wounded. The Minister of Health Mohammed Abdel Nour said that the government has decided to transfer the wounded who cannot be treated inside the country abroad so that they can receive intensive medical care.
The Somali National News Agency quoted the police chief of Mogadishu Colonel Bishar Abshir Gedi as saying that “The number of the people who died in the blast reached 15 and 45 others were wounded”. The death toll for the attack provided by a police source previously was at least five people dead, and at least thirty others were reported wounded. The extremist Al-Shabab group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The police chief said that the victims were “civilians and members of the security forces”. He added that security has been strengthened in the capital where reinforcements including dozens of soldiers and policemen have been deployed.
The Somali Minister for Information Mohamed Abdi Heyr told the government’s radio station that a meeting attended by security officials was taking place at the hotel at the time of the explosion. He added that one minister and some broadcasters were wounded in the attack. The hotel is frequented by government officials due to its close proximity to Villa Somalia; a complex that is surrounded by tight security measures and that houses the Somali presidential offices and those belonging to the prime minister.
Al-Shabab militants claimed responsibility for several recent bombings in Mogadishu including a car bomb attack on a popular seaside restaurant in the Somali capital that took place last week and killed at least ten people. This is the third time that the SYL hotel has been targeted. An attack at the beginning of last year claimed the lives of five Somalis. The attack took place whilst members of the Turkish delegation who were visiting the country as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Mogadishu were staying at the hotel.