A powerful suicide bomb blast rocked Somalia’s town of Jowhar, in Hirshabele state, killing at least three people and wounding seven others. Senior regional administration officials were among those hurt. Militant group Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hirshabele state Humanitarian and Disaster Management Minister Abdifatah Qoorgaab told VOA attack targeted a popular hotel named Nur-doob that was frequented by state lawmakers, ministers and other officials.
He said the wounded, including the state health minister, were transferred to an area hospital for treatment.
Mohamed Ibrahim Mo’alimu is a member of the Somali parliament elected from Hirshabele.
He says what happened today in Jowhar the administrative capital, Hirshabele, is very shocking. To carry out an attack that targeted a private hotel is very shocking and it’s a cowardly and barbaric attack. I extended my condolences to victims’ families and asked Allah [God] for the wounded people to recover quickly. The attack also caused damage to nearby businesses and buildings and a lot of people lost their wealth.
Jowhar, is also the provincial capital of Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region, located 90 kilometers north of the capital, Mogadishu.
Ibrahim Ali, an eyewitness in Jowhar, told VOA that Sunday’s bombing was the biggest, loudest he had ever heard.
Jihan Abdullahi Hassan, the advisor for the Hirshabele president described the attack as “tragic” and called for a collective effort to defeat al-Shabab.
Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre condemned the attack.