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11 die in Somali capital terrorist bomb attack

 
 
 
 
 
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Photo taken on September 12, 2012 shows the Jazeera hotel in Mogadishu as AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) forces stand guard after a bomb exploded while newly elected Somali president Hasan Sheikh Mahmud was staying.

At least 11 people have been killed and 17 others wounded in three bomb blasts that hit the Somali capital Mogadishu.

The attacks were carried out late on Wednesday near Jazeera hotel, which is located in a heavily fortified district and is popular with government officials.

“At least 11 people are dead and 17 others are wounded. That is what we have carried,” Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of a private ambulance service, said.

Gunfire was reported following the first two blasts.

Reports say one of the explosions was caused by a booby-trapped car.

Another was apparently caused by a bomb planted inside a car which went off during a search by security forces. There has been no word on what caused the other explosion.

No group has claimed responsibility, but al-Shabab has carried out similar attacks in Mogadishu over the past years.

In a radio message on Tuesday, al-Shabab warned civilians to stay away from government buildings as well as sites controlled or owned by foreigners.

Ali Mohammed Hussein, an al-Shabab commander, said in the message that attacks were imminent in the Somali capital.

Violence in Somalia has been on the rise ahead of the elections in January.

On Friday, lawmaker Warsame Faysal and his driver were killed after a powerful car bomb exploded outside prime minister’s office in Mogadishu.

The al-Qaeda-linked militants have been driven out of Somalia’s major towns by an 18,000-strongs UN-mandated African Union force known as AMISOM, which is made up of troops from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recently warned about the deteriorating security situation in Somalia, saying the African country may slide back into being a failed state.

Somalia did not have an effective central government from 1991 until August 2012. In September 2012, MPs meeting in Mogadishu elected Sheikh Mohamud as the new president of Somalia with a big majority.

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