The death toll from the twin bomb attacks in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has risen to 11 after three people died from their wounds, police said yesterday.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place late on Wednesday, but it appeared to involve a commando of gunmen, and bore all the hallmarks of Somalia’s al-Shebaab group.
“The number of dead is 11, with 18 others who were wounded,” police commander Abdi Mohamed Jama told reporters.
The first car bomb exploded outside the Jazeera hotel, near the international airport. It is one of the seaside capital’s most upmarket and its clientele includes Somalian politicians and visiting foreign officials.
The second car bomb ripped through the blast scene as ambulances rushed in and Somalian soldiers were helping the wounded.
Eyewitnesses also reported an intense exchange of gunfire between assailants and security officers between the back-to-back blasts.
However, the police boasted that they had stopped the attackers from killing more.
“The terrorists failed to achieve their objective as security forces foiled their attacks,” Somalian police spokesman Mohammed Omar told reporters, adding that two fellow officers were among the dead.
The attack was similar to others carried out by al-Shabaab in Mogadishu, with a first car bomb smashing through the well-guarded gates of a target to let in a suicide commando and sometimes another explosives-laden vehicle.