Why do these bombings keep happening in Somalia? Is Mogadishu plagued with “right-wing extremists”? “Islamophobes”?
“At least 18 dead, 30 wounded in Mogadishu hotel blast,” Associated Press, October 28, 2017:
A suicide car bomb exploded outside a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and wounding more than 30, and gunfire continued as security forces pursued the attackers inside the building, police said. Two more blasts were heard, one when an attacker detonated a suicide vest.
Speaking to the Associated Press by telephone from the scene, Capt. Mohamed Hussein said more than 20 people, including government officials, were thought to be trapped as security forces battled extremists holed up on the top floor of the Nasa-Hablod hotel, close to the presidential palace. Two of the five attackers were killed on the first floor, Hussein said. The others hurled grenades and cut off the building’s electricity as night fell.
Saturday’s blasts came two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country’s worst-ever attack.
Shabab, Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group, quickly claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack and said its fighters were inside the hotel. As night fell, sporadic gunfire could be heard as soldiers responded.
A senior Somali police colonel and a former lawmaker were among the dead, Hussein said.
Mohamed Dek Haji said he survived the bombing as he walked beside a parked car that was largely destroyed by the explosion. He said he saw at least three armed men in military uniforms running toward the hotel after the suicide bombing at its gate.
“I think they were Shabab fighters who were trying to storm the hotel,” he said, lying on a hospital bed. He suffered small injuries on his shoulder and skull from flying glass.
A Somalia bombing killed hundreds; officials figure it must have been Shabab extremists — again
Witnesses in some previous attacks have said al-Shabab fighters disguised themselves by wearing military uniforms.
Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu. It has not commented on the massive attack two weeks ago; experts have said the death toll was so high that the group hesitated to further anger Somali citizens as its pursues its insurgency….