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The city has witnessed in the past months a series of assassinations and explosions due to lax security and a lack of routine patrols by the police.
JOWHAR, Somalia - A police officer says a powerful explosion ripped through an upscale hotel in a city in southern Somalia on Sunday morning, in the latest of a series of insecurity incidents.
Capt. Mohamed Hussin said a bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicles into the gates of Nur Doob hotel in the heart of Jowhar, an agricultural district in the Middle Shabelle provinces.
The blast was heard across the key town on Sunday morning with the security forces sealed off the scene of the deadly car bomb attack that devastated the hotel building, Hussein added.
Several HirShabelle regional state ministers, legislators, and senior officials were present inside the hotel at the time of the bombing. It still remains sketchy the number of casualties.
Images posted on social media showed the scale of the devastation from blasts that shook the city, which lies approximately 90 kilometers north of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The southern city has witnessed in the past months a series of assassinations of high-profile figures and explosions due to lax security and a lack of routine patrols by the police.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack through a statement on its-affiliated media outlets, It's part of terrorist assaults in the Horn of Africa country.
Somalis are yet facing a potent threat from Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda-linked terror group waging an insurgency for a decade to oust an UN-backed Somali government in Mogadishu.