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Somalia’s al-Shabaab Claims Suicide Attack That Killed 15 People

Somalia’s al-Shabaab militia claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing yesterday at the Muno Hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, in which at least 15 people died.

“The holy suicide attack occurred as it was intended because the hotel housed so-called lawmakers who compete with Allah to draft a constitution,” Sheikh Abdi Aziz Abu Musab, a spokesman for the rebel movement, said in comments on Radio Andulus, a broadcaster controlled by the militia.

At least 15 people died and “dozens” were injured in the attack, Lieutenant-Colonel Hassan Barise, a spokesman for Somalia’s police force, said in a phone interview yesterday. A member of parliament was injured, he said.

Somali lawmakers are drafting a new constitution as part of a so-called road map that will end the rule of the country’s United Nations-backed transitional administration later this year. Since it was formed in 2004, the government, headed by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, has failed to end a two-decade long civil war in the Horn of Africa country.

Al-Shabaab, which the U.S. accuses of having links to al-Qaeda, began an insurgency against the government in 2007.

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