Mogadishu bombings: Top Somali officials fired over deadly blasts

A Somali security force officer walks among ruins at scene of Saturday blast in MogadishuImage copyright AP/getty
Image caption Militant group al-Shabab said it was behind the twin bombings on Saturday

The Somali government has fired two top security officials after twin blasts and a siege left at least 27 people dead on Saturday.

They came just two weeks after at least 358 people died in another attack, one of the deadliest ever to hit Mogadishu.

Police chief Abdihakin Dahir Saiid and the director of national intelligence, Abdillahi Mohamed Sanbaloosh, were both removed from office on Sunday.

The decision came after an emergency cabinet meeting, Somali officials say.

The Islamist militant group al-Shabab says it carried out Saturday’s bombings.

Police say three militants were captured alive and two others blew themselves up during the attack.

The siege started on Saturday afternoon after a car bomb was driven into the Nasahablod Two hotel. A few minutes later, a second car bomb targeted the former parliament house nearby.

Sporadic gunfire continued inside the hotel throughout the night, witnesses said. Police said the siege lasted almost 12 hours.

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Media captionThe aftermath of the latest bomb blast in Mogadishu

Al-Shabab – with has links with al-Qaeda – denies having any involvement in the 14 October attack.

The militants say they targeted the hotel on Saturday because it was frequented by security officials and politicians.

The dead included at least 12 policemen. Many more people were injured.

Provincial leaders, police and intelligence officials were gathering for a meeting with the government to agree on a joint strategy against al-Shabab, due to take place on Sunday.

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