A suicide attacker drove a vehicle loaded with explosives into the gate of the Jazeera Palace Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, earlier today, killing 13 people. The car bomb exploded at the hotel’s main gate. The bomb destroyed part of the hotel and caused damage to nearby structures.
The attack follows a series of assaults July 10 on two Mogadishu hotels and a stadium housing peacekeepers. Al-Shabaab also took responsibility for those attacks.
The Al-Shabaab terror group took responsibility for the attack, saying it was targeting Western diplomats. The luxury hotel houses the diplomatic missions for several nations, including China.
The attack comes a week after the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) renewed its active military offensive against Al Shabaab. Code named Operation ‘Juba Corridor’, the offensive aims to degrade Al Shabaab by removing them from their strongholds in the Gedo, Bakool and Bay regions of Somalia.
The Operation involves troops from the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) contingents of AMISOM, and supporting units of the Somalia National Army (SNA). According to an AMISOM update, AMISOM and SNA troops killed 72 Al Shabaab fighters, while 24 were wounded and 9 others were captured.
Independent news reports claim many of the killed were civilians that have fled the fighting. Yesterday an air-attack directed at Al-Shabaab checkpoint k
illed 11 civilians travelling in vehicles thought to be used by Al-Shabaab. Last week another attack took the lives of 20 civilians, reporters said.