At least 11 killed in three bomb blasts at hotel in Somali capital

somali-capital-blasts-hotel-.siThree successive explosions have hit outside the Jazeera Hotel near the Somalian capital’s international airport Wednesday. The blasts killed at least 11 people, Reuters reports citing local ambulance service.

Earlier a doctor at the Madina hospital in Mogadishu was quoted by Reuters as saying that one body and ten wounded have been brought in.

“First we heard a big crash and the security forces immediately opened fire,” said Abdullahi Hussein who lives just 300 meters behind the hotel. “After a few minutes another explosion took place and there was more gunfire.”

The news agency also added that the third explosion was caused by a car bomb which went off about an hour later than the first two while the vehicle was being searched by the military.

Harun Maruf, a Voice of America journalist in Mogadishu, wrote on Twitter that security sources say the first blast was caused by a suicide bomber who drove his vehicle into the gate of the hotel.

It is believed that Khalif Ereg, the Mogadishu intelligence chief who survived an assassination attempt in March 2013, was staying at the Jazeera hotel, although it is not clear if he was the target in the bombing, Maruf wrote.

Maruf also wrote there are reports of 2 smaller hand grenade explosions in Mogadishu, one allegedly targeting the Mubarak hotel.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack but the Islamist rebel group Al-Shabaab has carried out a campaign of terror attacks in Mogadishu over the last two and half years including a suicide bombing on the same hotel late last year.