At least 17 people were killed after two car bombs went off in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Saturday, Reuters reported. The attack comes two weeks after a truck bomb killed 358 people in the city.
In the first blast, militants drove a car bomb into a hotel and then stormed the building. There was a gunfight inside the hotel after the bombings, CNN reported. The second explosion took place near the former Parliament house, BBC reported.
Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attacks on Saturday. The Al Qaeda linked group said it chose this latest target as it was frequented by security officials and politicians, and decided to carry out the attacks at a time provincial leaders were meeting in Mogadishu to come up with a united strategy against the group, BBC reported.
“We targeted ministers and security officials who were inside the hotel,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s spokesperson, told Reuters. A police officer, Ali Nur, said most of the victims were security personnel.
On October 14, blasts in Mogadishu had killed at least 358 people. Al Shabaab did not claim the attacks, but are believed to be behind it.