Somalia hotel bomber is former German resident

2015-07-29 17:02
Somali soldiers stand in front of the damaged hotel following a suicide attack in Mogadishu. (Abdifitah Hashi Nor, AFP)

Somali soldiers stand in front of the damaged hotel following a suicide attack in Mogadishu. (Abdifitah Hashi Nor, AFP)

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Mogadishu - Somalia's intelligence agency on Wednesday identified a suicide truck bomber who attacked a hotel in Mogadishu as a 30-year-old Somali who had lived in Germany but returned to join the Shabaab.

A statement from the National Security and Intelligence Agency (NISA) also said the death toll from the massive explosion on Sunday had risen to 17, with more than 10 others wounded.

"The attacker was 30-year-old Abdirasak Muse Buh. He was born in Tripoli in Libya, and lived in Bonn, Germany. Abdirasak returned to the country in 2012 through Egypt," the agency said in a statement.

It added that Abdirasak joined the al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab in 2013 after being convinced to join by other members of the Somali diaspora.

The agency did not confirm if Abdirasak also held German nationality.

Sunday's attack ripped an outer wall from the six-storey Jazeera Palace Hotel, which was popular with government officials and foreign visitors and housed three diplomatic missions, including China's.

The Shabaab has a long history of attracting radicalised members of Somalia's far-flung diaspora as well as foreign fighters, although its appeal has been overshadowed in recently by the rise of the Islamic State and other newly ascendant jihadist groups.

The group is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu.

Dual nationality Somalis have carried out numerous suicide attacks over the years, most recently in February when a Dutch-Somali man and woman blew themselves up at Mogadishu's Central Hotel killing at least 25 people.

Read more on:    germany  |  somalia  |  east africa
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