Blast heard at a hotel in Somalia capital Mogadishu -witness
MOGADISHU A blast was heard on Sunday at the Elite Hotel in Lido beach in the Somalia capital Mogadishu, followed by gunfire, a witness told Reuters.
“I heard a huge blast at the hotel, gunfire followed, and then clouds of smoke,” Ahmed Ali said.
Police spokesman Sadik Ali confirmed there had been an explosion, adding: “We shall update you later.”
Government officials, government workers and people from the diaspora frequent the hotel.
The government has deployed security forces at Lido beach, a resident near the beach told Reuters.
“The exchange of gunfire is terrible and stray bullets reached us near the beach,” said Mohamed Nur, a government worker.
Somalia has been embroiled in deadly violence since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew leader Siad Barre and then turned on each other.
Since 2008, al Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-recognised central government and establish its rule based on its own interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.