Islamists Claim Responsibility For Mogadishu Hotel Bombing

Islamist militants in Somalia on Thursday said they carried out the triple bombing on a Mogadishu hotel that killed at least 11 people on Wednesday.

Al Shabaab spokesman, Ali Rage, made the disclosure in a statement in Mogadishu.

Al Shabaab militants, who are battling African peacekeepers for control of territory in southern and central Somalia, said its bombers targetted intelligence officials who were meeting at the Jazira Hotel.

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“The apostates are the eyes and the ears of the invaders and these attacks serve as punishment for their role in guiding and assisting the invading forces in their crusade,’’ Rage said.

Jazira Hotel is frequented by government officials in a heavily fortified district and is thought to be one of the most secure places in the coastal capital.

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The assault on the hotel, therefore, underscored worries in neighbouring countries and beyond that Somalia could slip back into anarchy if recent military gains were not consolidated.

An attack on a Kenyan shopping mall in September in which dozens of people were killed highlighted the militants’ ability to strike beyond Somalia’s borders.

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