MOGADISHU (Reuters) – At least 17 people were killed and 28 others wounded when a bomb went off outside a hotel near the international airport in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Monday, medical officials said.
The Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s weak U.N.-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The city’s Madina hospital received 17 bodies and 28 people with injuries, 12 of them in a critical condition, said Mohammed Yusuf, the hospital’s director.
The blast went off at the first checkpoint on the road that leads to Mogadishu airport, said Farah Hussein, a shopkeeper who witnessed the attack.
Somalia has been riven by civil war since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator, then turned on each other.
Reporting by Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Peter Graff