At Least 10 Persons Reported Dead, More Expected, After Suicide Blast Rocks Mogadishu Hotel

At least 10 persons were reportedly killed after a suicide blast rocked a Mogadishu hotel frequented by foreign diplomats. More deaths are expected.

According to a BBC News correspondent in the Somalian city, a truck carrying explosives drove into the the Mogadishu Jazeera Hotel Sunday near the city's airport.

According to the correspondent, ambulances have begun collecting the dead and wounded in what he says is one of the worst scenes of destruction he has seen in Mogadishu.

"A suicide car bomb exploded at the gate of Jazeera Hotel," Major Nur Osoble, a police officer, told Reuters news agency.

Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab, which has ties with al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Mogadishu hotel.

Mohamed Jama, a government security officer told Agence France the number of dead is expected to rise.

"We have seen around six people killed, most of them hotel security guards... It was a truck loaded with explosives -- and the biggest ever (explosion) around this area."
The Mogadishu hotel, which has been targeted in the past, is often frequented by international diplomats and government officials. It is also the site for several embassies including those of China, Qatar, and Egypt.

[Photo via Twitter / Mohamed Moalim]