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Three dead in Somalia auto bombings

Three dead in Somalia auto bombings

The Somali capital Mogadishu was struck by twin auto bombings claimed by Al Shabab on Saturday, the first major attack in city since a lorry bombing two weeks ago that left more than 350 dead.

"We can confirm that the president was not at the hotel at the time of the attack", he said.

Saturday's blasts came two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country's worst-ever attack.

Speaking to The Associated Press by telephone from the scene, Capt. Mohamed Hussein said more than 20 people, including government officials, were thought to be trapped as security forces continued to battle the extremists holed up on the top floor.

Gunshots could be heard ringing out inside the Nasahablod Two hotel while the bomb exploded near its gate, police captain Mohammed Hussein said.

The Shabaab has made attacks on hotels - commonly beginning with a suicide vehicle bombing followed by an invasion by gunmen - a regular strategy in its decade old battle to overthrow successive internationally-backed governments in Mogadishu.

Girl jumps from school building, dies
A Class X girl student of the ICSE school Trinity Lyceum jumped from the third storey of the school building. Gauri had a spat with some of her sister's classmates during the interval as they were making fun of her.

"I think they were al-Shabab fighters who were trying to storm the hotel", he said, lying on a hospital bed. One senior police official and a former MP were among the dead.

He suffered small injuries on his shoulder and skull from flying glass.

In the first attack, a suicide auto bomb rammed into the popular Nasahablod Two hotel, about 600 metres from the presidential place, before gunmen stormed the building.

"We can hear the gunfire but it is hard to know who is fighting, the forces cordoned off the building and no one can go close to it", said Abdulahi Nure.

The al-Shabab extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack and confirmed that its fighters were inside the hotel.

The Somali militant group Al Shabab said it carried out the bombings.

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