THE death toll rose to 15 yesterday following the lorry-bomb attack on a hotel in the Somalian capital Mogadishu on Sunday.
A lorry laden with a ton of explosives was rammed into blast walls around the six-storey hotel, which was home to several foreign embassies.
The front facade of the building was sheared off by the enormous blast.
“The damage is big, but a lot less because the truck bomb couldn’t go beyond the walls that lay a few metres from the hotel’s perimeter walls,” said police officer Mohammed Abdi.
Police Captain Mohammed Hussein added: “This is a very worrying situation. This happened despite all the security precautions in place.”
Among the dead were a Kenyan diplomat and a guard at the Chinese embassy. Three other Chinese embassy staff were wounded.
The al-Shabab Islamist militia claimed responsibility for the attack, which also devastated dozens of nearby homes.
Residents desperately searched through the rubble for survivors as human remains lay strewn around.
“It’s a criminal and cowardly act but that will not disrupt our struggle toward peace,” said Somalian Foreign Minister Abdisalam Omer.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Beijing was greatly shocked and strongly condemned the attack.
Embassy staff have moved to a safer location while the ministry improves security for all Chinese citizens in Somalia.
Speaking during a visit to neighbouring Ethiopia, US President Barack Obama said the bombing was a reminder that “we have more work to do” in stemming terrorism in the region and that groups like al-Shabab offered nothing but destruction.