MOGADISHU – An attack Friday night on a hotel in Somalia's capital left five people dead and at least 15 wounded, a government spokesman said.
The bloodshed came after a car bomb went off outside Hotel Makkah Al-Mukarama in central Mogadishu, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, the African country's interior and national security minister, told local media.
Those killed included Abdulkadir Ali, the Somalian government's former acting envoy to Britain better known as "Dhub," said Abdirahman Omar Osman, spokesperson for the country's president.
Somalian Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon put out a statement condemning what he described as a "terrorist attack" and offering "his condolences to the civilian casualties."
"We — the Somali people and the Somali government — will stand shoulder-to-shoulder to defeat these killers," Shirdon said. "These terrorists will not defeat us but (will) make us stronger."
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.
But Somalia has seen such violence before. Some of it has been traced to Al Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked organization that the U.S. government calls a terrorist group and was behind the deadly siege earlier this fall of a Nairobi, Kenya, shopping mall.
A U.S. military drone strike late last month in southern Somalia killed two suspected Al Shabaab members, U.S. officials said. And a recent joint raid by Kenyan and Somali forces killed at least 30 people believed to be part of that group.