18 March 2014

Somalia: Death Toll of Buloburte Hotel Car Bomb Rises to 20, Officials Said

Photo: Kate Holt/IRIN
Soldier on patrol along the frontline between AMISIOM forces and Al Shabab militia near Bakara market, Mogadishu, Somalia

A car bomb that targeted a hotel in Buloburte town, central Somalia region of Hiran has killed at least 20, officials said.

A suicide car bomb hit the Hotel Amalow at midnight around 2.30 pm local time on Tuesday killing soldiers and officers. The hotel Amalow was frequented by government officials and the commanders of both Somali military and those from African Union Forces [AMISOM].

Hiran Governor Abdi Farah Laqanyo said the leading commander of Somalia army in Hiran region Col Mohamed Amen was among those killed in the attack. Also five Djibouti soldiers of the AMISOM peacekeepers were killed in the attack while 11 others of Somalia National Army [SNA] lost their lives in the overnight attack.

According to sources, the suicide car exploded outside the hotel where the security guards fired the car as it was approaching, but soon after the explosion some 20 armed men stormed the hotel and begun firing those around.

More than a dozen soldiers were wounded and were rushed to a hospital in Mogadishu today, AMISOM spokesman Col Ali Adan Humud said.

Al Shabab militant group which is linked to al Qaeda network claimed the attack. The town of Buloburte has fallen for Somalia Army and the AMISOM forces in last week.

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