At least 10 dead after explosion outside Mogadishu hotel

Posted at 3:39 AM, Jan 25, 2017

MOGADISHU, Somalia (CNN) -- The Al-Shabaab extremist group claimed responsibility for two explosions that rocked the Somali capital of Mogadishu Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and injuring another 30.

Attackers detonated a truck bomb outside the gates of the Dayah hotel -- which is near the country's parliament building and popular with both lawmakers and government officials -- before storming inside, Somali Police Major Ahmed Ibrahim told CNN.



A second truck exploded nearby 15 minutes later, Ibrahim said. Five attackers were killed by Somali security forces.

Ali Hajji, the head nurse at the nearby Hayad hospital, says the death toll is likely to rise because of the number of people seriously injured.

Al-Shabaab is an al Qaeda-linked terror group that seeks to turn the country into a fundamentalist Islamic state and has carried out repeated attacks against the government and military targets.

Somalia, one of the poorest countries in the world, descended into civil war after dictator Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.

Rival clan leaders and extremist groups such as the al-Shabaab took advantage of the power vacuum, growing in size and strength.

The group has seen its power wane in recent years, thanks in part to an African Union coalition dedicated to peacekeeping in the country.

But Mogadishu is subject to attacks on a frequent basis. Most recently, a car bomb in the city killed 20 people in December.

CNN's Julia Jones contributed to this report

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