Mogadishu hotel suicide bombers were Dutch - Somalia
22 February 2015, 07:15
Mogadishu - Twin suicide bombings at a Mogadishu hotel
popular with ministers and officials were carried out by Dutch nationals,
Somali intelligence sources said on Saturday, the day after 25 people were
Somali intelligence believe both suicide bombers - a man and
a woman - were Dutch-Somali citizens who infiltrated the Central Hotel close to
the presidential palace ahead of the attack.
Sources within the Somali National Intelligence and Security
Agency (NISA) said the man, identified as Ismail Muse, exploded a bomb in a car
parked at the hotel while the woman, Lula Ahmed Dahir, detonated her explosive
vest inside the hotel's prayer room.
The woman "worked part time in the hotel for up to four
months," according to an intelligence report seen by AFP.
"Her relationship to the male attacker... is not yet
known but thought to be very close, if not husband," said the report.
The attack left 25 people dead including two MPs, the deputy
mayor of Mogadishu, the Prime Minister's private secretary and the deputy PM's
chief of staff.
Deputy PM Mohamed Arte, the minister of transport and
minister of port and marine resources were among dozens of injured.
Heavy gunfire followed the two explosions as nervous
security forces searched the hotel compound.
"The building was badly hit, the explosion was very
big," said police officer Abulrahman Ali.
Thick clouds of black smoke were seen pouring from the hotel
as the injured were rushed to hospital.
Responsibility for attack
Shebab militants quickly claimed responsibility for the
"Our fighters attacked the Central Hotel," Shebab
spokesperson Abdulaziz Abu Musab told AFP, saying that the aim had been
"to kill the apostate officials".
Shebab rebels have staged a string of assaults in their
fight to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government. They have
targeted hotels, the international airport, the presidential palace known as
Villa Somalia, a UN compound and restaurants.
The last most deadly attack targeting government was in
December 2009 when Shebab gunmen went room-to-room in the Shamo Hotel killing
25 people, including three ministers.