At least 28 people were killed and 54 others wounded in a suicide attack at a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Friday, the Somali government said Sunday.
Security Minister Abdirisaq Omar Mohamed said at least eight other people succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment.
“We can now confirm that 28 people have died following the explosion in Central Hotel on Friday, 54 other people have been injured and receiving treatment in various hospitals in the city,” Mohamed told journalists in Mogadishu.
The country’s largest hospital, which was recently opened by the Turkish President Receep Erdogan, has been sealed off from the public as senior government officials are receiving treatment there.
The minister’s remarks came after police intelligence confirmed the suicide bomber involved in the explosion. Lul Ahmed, who worked as a receptionist in the luxurious Central Hotel, blew up herself after ramming an explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of the hotel.
“We have established that the female suicide bomber was a single mother of six children and had arrived in the country few months ago and had been working in the hotel all along,” said Mohamed.
Mohamed said police had arrested all the security guards and the managers of the hotel for questioning. Police authorities also said the woman held a Dutch and Somali nationality.
The minister said the suspect worked as a receptionist at the hotel and on Thursday night she stayed at the hotel though she would normally leave in the afternoon.
The attack by Somali militant group Al-Shabaab hit the hotel and a mosque inside while most of the people were in for the Friday prayers.