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Friday, February 20, 2015

Somali minister dies as toll from hotel bombing rises

(Medeshi)- MOGADISHU - AA-  Death toll from a twin suicide blast on Friday that targeted a hotel in Mogadishu has risen to 12 people, including a minister and the two perpetrators, according to a security source.


Seaports Minister Nur Hersi and Daljir Party chief Abdel-Shakour Adam as well as Mohamed Adam, the first deputy to Mogadishu's mayor, have all succumbed to injuries they sustained during the blast, security sources told The Anadolu Agency.

Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte and MP Abdel-Qader Ali Omar were also seriously injured in the blast, the sources have said.

Two suicide bombers, seconds apart, have driven into Mogadishu's Central Hotel - known to be frequented by Somali officials - before detonating their explosive-packed vehicles, eyewitnesses have told AA earlier.

A radio station that is associated with Al-Shabaab militant group had quoted a senior group member as saying that the group was behind Friday's "major operation."

Al-Shabaab, which has launched an insurgency against Mogadishu in recent years, has recently suffered several significant blows, losing most of its strongholds in southern and central Somalia to government and African Union troops.

Several group members have also recently been killed in U.S. drone strikes.

However, the group has continued to launch deadly attacks on government officials and security troops.
- Anadolu Agency