Three people died this Sunday and nine were injured, including several ministers and regional parliamentarians, in a jihadist suicide car bomb attack on a hotel in the city of Jowhar, about 90 kilometers from the capital of Somalia, Mogadiscio, confirmed to Efe medical sources.
The attack, whose authorship was attributed to the jihadist group Al Shabab, shook the popular Nuur Doob hotel, frequented by government officials from the state of Hirshabelle (central-south), whose capital is Jowhar.
“I have seen the bodies of three people dead and nine injured, mainly officials,” Dr. Abdifatah Hassan, from the Jowhar Hospital, told Efe, specifying that the deceased are two security guards from the establishment and a legislator from the Parliament of the aforementioned state. .
The State Minister for Women, Asha Khalif, the State Minister for Health, Abdi Moalim; and the former president of the Parliament of Hirshabelle “are among the victims of the explosion” and “they are all injured,” government sources had previously told Efe, without providing further details.
The explosion caused considerable material damage to the establishment and surrounding buildings, according to the images broadcast by the Somali National Television (SNTV), although the wall that protected the hotel prevented more victims.
After the attack, the Police carried out searches in the city in pursuit of members of Al Shabab.
“The city is confined for search operations, but it seems difficult to find elements” of the jihadist group, Abdifatah added.
New Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre has phoned Hirshabelle President Ali Gudlawe to express his sorrow over Sunday’s “cowardly terrorist attack”, Somali state media reported.
Barre became prime minister on June 25, after the Somali Parliament approved his appointment at the proposal of the country’s president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, winner of the elections on May 15 and who promised in his investiture speech to end Al Shabab.
The jihadist group, which joined the Al Qaeda terrorist network in 2012, frequently carries out attacks in Mogadishu and other parts of the country to overthrow the central government and establish by force a Wahhabi-style Islamic State (ultra-conservative).
In addition, Al Shabab controls various parts of the country, especially rural areas in the center and south.
Somalia has been in a state of war and chaos since 1991, when dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown, leaving the country without an effective government and in the hands of Islamist militias and warlords.