Mogadishu: Somali police say the toll for the massive truck bomb attack on the capital’s premier hotel has risen to 15, including a Kenya diplomat, a Chinese embassy guard and three journalists. The scale of the truck bomb used against the Jazeera Hotel has stunned Mogadishu, a capital long used to conflict and raises fears of an escalation of force by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group battling the government.
The radical al-Shabab had been pushed out of the capital by Somali forces backed by troops from the African Union. The group said the bomb was in retaliation for the offensive. The front of the five-story hotel, which used to host diplomats, journalists and visiting heads of state, had been sheared off, echoing the devastation from worst days of the civil war.