Major blasts hits Somali capital Mogadishu

Bombs kill at least 7 in Mogadishu

At least 10 people have been killed in a double vehicle bombing in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, which is still reeling from a massive attack that left hundreds dead earlier this month.

Witnesses said gunmen stormed Nasa-Hablod hotel after detonating a vehicle filled with explosives at the entrance.

Police Officer Ali Mohamed told Anadolu Agency over the phone that a vehicle bomb had targeted the Nasa-hablood hotel near the presidential palace; soon after another auto bomb exploded near the scene.

Two more blasts were heard, one when an attacker detonated a suicide vest on Saturday.

'It is a busy hotel frequented by lawmakers, (military) forces and civilians'.

Bombs in Mogadishu two weeks ago killed at least 358 people, the worst such attacks in the country's history, igniting nationwide outrage.

The al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack on the hotel, which is frequently used by politicians and other members of the city's elite.

Al-Shabab is fighting to topple Somalia's internationally-backed government and impose its strict interpretation of Islam's sharia law.

The second explosion took place around 30 minutes later near security forces.

Somalia's government attributed that attack to al Shabaab.

The police personnel who died had been stationed close to hotel's gate.

"We targeted ministers and security officials who were inside the hotel".

The Shabab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack on a media channel associated with the group.

A staggering 22,000-strong African Union force is expected to withdraw its forced and hand the country's security to the Somali military by the start of 2021.

The US military has increased its strikes against al Shabaab this year with nearly 20 drone missions against the terror group.

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