Somalia: at least 41 dead in Islamist attack on Friday in Mogadishu

The car bomb attack near a hotel in the capital of central Somalia, Mogadishu, has fallen to at least 41 dead, with several people dying of wounds, reported Saturday. source of the police.

"The number of victims has increased, the information we have received from various hospitals indicates that the death toll has risen to 41 and that 106 people have been injured," police chief Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP.

The previous record, established Friday's security source was "about 20 dead (…) and more than 40 wounded".

"More than 100 people were injured in yesterday's attack (Friday) and some have succumbed to their injuries overnight," another security official Abdirahman Osman told AFP, adding that "nearly 50 people death has been confirmed ".

According to security sources and witnesses, two car bombs exploded almost simultaneously Friday afternoon near the Hotel Sahafi, where the Somali politicians are located.

A suicide bomber then activated his explosive vest in front of the hotel, already hit by an attack in 2015, and armed men tried unsuccessfully to enter the building before being shot.

"Most of the people (killed) were civilians and nearly 20 of them died in the minibuses that passed through the street at the time of the explosion," said a witness, Ibrahim Mohamed.

The attack was claimed by insurgent Islamic insurgents affiliated to al-Qaida who vowed the loss of the federal government backed by Somalia, supported by the international community and by the 20,000 African Union forces in Somalia (Amisom).

The president of the Somali parliament Mohamed Mursal accused the shebab of deliberately targeting civilians. The shebab believes that the goal was legitimate, the hotel housed government officials.

"These terrorists slaughtered civilians while people were out to enjoy the weekend, I ask the Somalis to join these killers," Mursal told reporters.

Forced to leave Mogadishu in 2011, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab lost most of their strongholds. But they still control the large rural areas from which they conduct guerrilla operations and suicide bombings, including in Mogadishu, against government, security or civilian targets.

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