A large truck bomb detonated outside of the The Somali Youth League (SYL) Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia. The hotel is near the presidential palace and is often used for meetings. Five soldiers were killed near the main checkpoint for the presidential palace during the attack. The vehicle breached the checkpoint and exchanged gunfire with the security forces prior to detonating the bomb. Some politicians and journalists are reported to be among the 10 injured. Al Shabaab claimed the attack and stated that the hotel was targeted because it “is close to the presidential palace, and also home to apostates and unbelievers.” This hotel has been attacked before, most recently in February 2016 and January 2015.

According to a senior Somali military commander, al Shabaab is attempting to disrupt the upcoming elections using  violence and terrorist attacks.

Col Ali Yusuf Mo’alin, the military officer said after losing ground to Government and AU troops, Al Shabaab decided to infiltrate into Mogadishu and carry out attacks during the elections.

“There are intelligence reports that Al Shabaab fighters sneaked into Mogadishu and planning to execute attacks during the forthcoming election,” he said.- All Africa

 

 

Image courtesy of BBC

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