Three dead in Somalia vehicle bombings

At least 10 people, including a former lawmaker and a police official were killed and more than eight others wounded in two suspected suicide auto blasts at a hotel in capital Mogadishu on Saturday evening, according to police, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

The attack comes two weeks after a truck bomb left 358 people dead in the city.

"About 14 people, a lot of them civilians, were confirmed dead so far and the security forces are still working to ensure the area is clear", said security official Mohamed Moalim Adan.

He said he saw at least three armed men in military uniforms running toward the hotel after the suicide bombing at its gate.

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The Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group is fighting to topple Somalia's internationally-backed government and has carried out scores of such attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country. The dead also included a former politician, he said.

"The Mujahedeen fighters are inside Nasa Hablod 2 hotel where... apostate officials are staying", it said.

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

"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.

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The attack happened as the country's leaders converged in Mogadishu for a high level security meeting following the October 14 truck bombing that killed more than 350 people.

Al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu. US military officials and others in recent months have expressed concern that Somali forces are not yet ready.

A 22,000-strong multinational African Union force in Somalia is expected to withdraw its forces and hand over the country's security to the Somali military by the end of 2020.

The US has been actively involving in trying to combat the group, launching 20 drone strikes.

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