Bomb explodes near Turkish delegation in Somalia day before president's visit-UPDATED

Car bomb targets Turkish delegation in Somali capital ahead of Turkish president's visit

Bomb explodes near Turkish delegation in Somalia day before president's visit-UPDATED

World Bulletin / News Desk

A car bomb exploded on Thursday outside the presidential palace in Mogadishu near a hotel accommodating a group of Turks, leaving four dead – including the bomber – but causing no casualties among the Turkish delegation.

"The bomb targeted the SYL Hotel near the presidential palace, which had hosted an earlier ministerial meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development," an eyewitness told The Anadolu Agency.

Police sources said two policemen and a female hotel employee had been killed, along with the bomber, while three police personnel were injured.

The hotel had been accommodating a Turkish delegation that had been preparing for a scheduled visit on Friday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

None of the Turks were hurt by the blast, police said.

Police spokesman Qassim Ahmed told The Anadolu Agency that the suicide bomber had "failed to reach his intended target."

The bombing occurred as security was stepped up across Mogadishu on the eve of Erdogan's visit.

According to an AA correspondent, the authorities have closed all the main roads in the city and plan to close the airport to air traffic on Friday.

Although there has been no claim of responsibility for Thursday's bombing, the Al-Shabaab militant group often claims such attacks.

Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

Last year, the fractious country appeared to inch closer to stability after government troops and African Union forces – deployed in Somalia since 2007 – drove Al-Shabaab from most of its strongholds.

The militant group, however, has continued to carry out regular attacks on government personnel and African peacekeepers.

 

Last Mod: 22 Ocak 2015, 15:56
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