Somalia hotel car bombing kills five, Al-Shabaab claims responsibility

Somalia SYL hotel car bombing: Al-Shabaab jihadists responsible

The remains of the checkpoint near the SYL hotel, heavily patrolled by security forces

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb which killed at least five people and injured ten others in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. 

The bomb exploded outside the Somali Youth League hotel, very close to the presidential palace in the national capital, after it rammed through a checkpoint and was fired on by security forces.

Al-Shabaab claims one of the reasons for the choice of target was its proximity to the palace, and the fact that it was "also home to apostates and unbelievers." It is the third time in recent years the hotel has been attacked.

Al-Shabaab is fighting to establish an Islamic state by destroying Somalia's UN-backed government. Five years ago, the group was forced out of the capital by African Union (AU) and government troops, but has continued to carry out bombings in the city. 

They appear to be stepping up the attacks ahead of the planned presidential elections in October.