Somalia: Suicide Blast at Shamu Hotel
Posted by Sawnews.tk on December 3, 2009
Moqdisho(SawNews)At least 25 people were killed and 60 others wounded in blast targeted university graduation ceremony at Shamu Hotel Mogdisho.
The attack took place inside the meeting hall of the Hotel Shamu in Mogadishu during a commencement ceremony for medical students of Benadir University by a suicide bomber dressed as a woman, “complete with a veil and a female’s shoes”, according to Minister of Information Dahir Mohamud Gelle. Most of those killed were students, but also among the dead were two doctors, three journalists, and three government ministers.
The government officials killed in the blast was namely Health Minister Qamar Aden Ali, Education Minister Ahmed Abdullahi Waayeel, and Higher Education Minister Ibrahim Hassan Adow.
It was the second ceremony organized by Benadir University since formed in 2002 and a rare event in war-torn Somalia had attracted hundreds of people.
Security inside the meeting hall was tight and all of the ministers’ bodyguards were outside the hall, the former Minister of Health Osman Dufle, who was speaking when the blast happened, reported that he had noticed an individual wearing black clothing moving through the audience immediately before the explosion.
Adow, one of cabinet killed in the blast, served as the foreign secretary of the insurgent Islamic Courts Union when it took power in 2006. The Somali minister for sports is also reported to be hospitalized and in critical condition.
Hotel Shamo is often chosen by government officials to host events and at one time was a popular lodging option for foreign journalists. The hotel security staff says that they were kicked out of the room prior to the ceremony, as government security officials wanted sole handling of the event. The government officials were attending the graduation of 43 students from the local Banadir University.
The attack is the latest in a string of incidents linking al-Shabab to common insurgent tactics used by Islamist terrorist groups in other parts of the world. Until recently suicide bombings were an alien practice in Somalia.
This is not the first blast of its kind targeted civilians and government officials. In 2008 Hargeisa-bosaso were bombed; again in 2008 Mogadishu Bombings, 2009 Beled-weyne Bombing.