SOMALIA: 6 People Killed In Mogadishu Bomb Attack
Somalia's Shabaab insurgents killed at least six people on Sunday in a huge car bomb attack on a heavily guarded hotel in the capital Mogadishu that is also home to several diplomatic missions, officials and witnesses said.
The suicide attack, the latest in a string of bomb blasts and killings in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation, came as US President Barack Obama left neighbouring Kenya and headed to Ethiopia, both key nations contributing troops to the African Union force battling the al-Qaeda-affiliated group.
The White House strongly condemned the attack, describing it as "abhorrent".
In a statement quoted by jihadist websites, the Shabaab said they attacked the Jazeera Palace hotel, which is home to the diplomatic missions of China, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and popular among Somali government officials and foreign visitors.
"We have seen around six people killed, most of them hotel security guards," said government security officer Mohamed Jama, adding that the toll might rise.
Journalist Mohamed Abdikarim, who worked for Universal TV, was also among those killed, the National Union of Somali Journalists said in a message of condolence to his family.
The Shabaab said the suicide bomber had attacked the hotel "in retaliation for the killing of dozens of innocent civilians" they claimed had died during attacks this week by Ethiopian forces against Shabaab bases in southern Somalia.
Local resident Abdihakim Ainte, a political analyst, was nearby when the bomb exploded and described a "huge blast" that smashed his window.