10 dead in Somalia blast, al Shabaab claims attack

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Old 02-Jun-2016
10 dead in Somalia blast, al Shabaab claims attack

Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab on Wednesday launched a deadly attack on a top Mogadishu hotel popular with MPs, killing at least 10 people, police said.

At least 40 others were injured in the attack on Mogadishu's Ambassador Hotel, a senior Somali police officer said.

Two Somali lawmakers are among the dead, the Somali National News Agency reported.

The siege began when attackers detonated a car packed with explosives at the gates of the building, Hajji said.

The explosion shook nearby offices and injured bystanders in front of the hotel, witnesses said. Victims flooded a nearby hospital.

"The attack was started with a heavy explosion and members from the Mujahedeen fighters stormed the building," the Shabaab said in a statement.

Shabaab fighters were chased out of Mogadishu in 2011 but the group remains a dangerous threat in both Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, where it carries out frequent attacks.

They jihadists are fighting to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government.

On Wednesday, the United States said a top Shabaab military leader Abdullahi Haji Da'ud was "presumed killed" during a May 27 air strike.

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