Death Toll Rises to 25 in Attack in Somalia

21.02.2015 14:57

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The
death toll in an attack by
suicide bombers at a hotel
compound in Mogadishu on
Friday rose to 25 people, with
more than 40 people
wounded, Somali officials
said Saturday.
The Shabab, a rebel group,
claimed responsibility for the
attack, saying that the
intended targets were
government ministers and
lawmakers who had gathered
at the Central Hotel in
Mogadishu for a Friday
Prayer service ahead of a
national holiday.
“As soon as the prayers
finished, a huge explosion
happened,” said Salaad Ali
Jelle, a former government
minister who was at the
scene. “Then another
explosion followed at the
entrance of the mosque. I
jumped over several dead
bodies, but I survived.”
The attack left 25 people
dead, including two
lawmakers, the deputy
governor of Banadir, officials
and staff members from the
office of the prime minister,
according to a statement
from the office of the prime
minister that was released
after an emergency cabinet
meeting. A ministerial-level
committee has been
appointed to investigate the
The deputy prime minister,
Mohamed Omar Arte, who
was among the wounded,
flew to Turkey on Saturday
morning for treatment.
“We will continue fighting
terrorism until we
completely eliminate it,”
President Hassan Sheik
Mohamed said in a
statement. “I am sure this
attack proves the hypocrisy
of the terrorist group who
claim to be acting in the
name of religion, while
carrying out acts that are
completely un-Islamic.”
Shabab militants have
recently carried out several
attacks against Somali
government officials. On
Monday, at least three
officials working for the
Somali civil aviation
authority were shot to death
in Mogadishu.
The special representative of
the United Nations for
Somalia, Nicholas Kay, and
the United States special
representative for Somalia,
James P. McAnulty,
condemned Friday's attack.
“This attack exemplifies the
menace that Al Shabab poses
to all Somalis,” Mr. McAnulty
said. He said that the United
States would continue to
work closely with Somali
political leaders, the Somali
National Army and the forces
of the African Union mission
in Somalia to defeat the