At Least 13 Killed in Somali Hotel Blast: Police

The Somali militant Islamist group al Shabaab attacked a Mogadishu hotel on Sunday, driving a car packed with explosives through the hotel gate and killing at least 13 people, a first responder and the rebel group said.

A Reuters witness said blood and pieces of flesh were spattered around the site of the blast targeting the Jazeera hotel. Nearby was the wreckage of four cars.

"We have carried 13 dead people and 21 others who were injured, some seriously," an ambulance worker Abdikadir Abdirahman told Reuters.

A police officer, Major Nur Osoble, told Reuters a suicide car bomb had rammed the gates of the hotel, damaging the facade.

Al Shabaab, which said it was behind the blast, frequently stages bomb and gun attacks in the capital in its bid to topple Somalia's Western-backed government. The nation is trying to rebuild after two decades of conflict and chaos.

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