At Least 15 Killed in al-Shabaab Bombing in Somali Capital

At least 15 people were killed in a bomb attack by Islamist militants at a park and hotel near the presidential compound in Somalia’s capital, a police official said.

A suicide car bomber rammed into the SYL hotel in Mogadishu and gunmen stormed the building, said Sharmarke Idow by phone on Friday. Another blast occurred nearby outside the gate of a garden that’s a popular hangout for families, he said. The al-Qaeda-linked group, al-Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the assault on its Radio Andalus station.

On Thursday, al-Shabaab targeted the compound housing the president and other government officials in an attack that struck a residential neighborhood, leaving at least seven people dead.

The militants have waged an insurgency in Somalia since 2006 to impose a strict version of Islamic law. While the group has lost territory since an offensive scaled up in 2011 by government and African Union forces, it continues to stage deadly gun and bomb attacks both at home and around the region.

(Updates with death toll in first paragraph.)

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