Somalia suicide bombing: Al-Shabaab blast kills at least 11 and injures deputy prime minister

Militants claimed responsibility for bomb attack on hotel 

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The Independent Online

Al-Shabaab suicide bombers launched a deadly attack on a luxury Somali hotel, killing at least 11 people and wounding the deputy prime minister.

Two blasts and gunfire were heard at the Central Hotel in the capital of Mogadishu on Friday near the presidential palace.

One militant drove a vehicle laden with explosives to the gate of the hotel, while another entered the property and detonated his vest, Capt. Mohammed Hussein told The Associated Press.

"There were ministers and legislators inside the hotel," he said. "I have seen many people with injuries, including a lawmaker.”

Reports on the current death toll vary between two and 20.

Somali legislator Mohamed Ali said that fellow legislator Omar Ali Nor and Mogadishu's deputy mayor Mohamed Aden are among the dead.

Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte was rushed to a hospital, and was among several other high-ranking government officials at the hotel at the time of the attack.

Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a statement given to Reuters, he said: "We are behind the attack. We targeted government officials in the hotel, this is part of our operation in Mogadishu.”

A spokesperson for the Islamist militant group told AFP the attack was aimed at killing "the apostate officials".