A Chinese diplomat was believed to have been killed and the Chinese Embassy partially damaged when an explosion rocked a hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, according to media reports.
The blast occurred when a suicide bomber ran a truck loaded with explosives into the blast walls of the Jazeera Palace Hotel, considered one of the most secure luxury resorts in Somalia’s capital. The surrounding area also accommodates a number of embassies, including those of China, Qatar and Egypt.
Between nine and 15 people were reported to have died in the explosion, with another 40 people injured.
A Chinese Embassy worker and three hotel staff members were among the dead, BBC reported.
The Chinese Embassy was partially destroyed in the blast and staff members had been injured, Xinhua said, without confirming any deaths among the Chinese staff.
Somali militant Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“This is really scary, destroying the Jazeera hotel like this means no blast walls can make anyone safe,” a bystander named Yusuf Mohammed was cited as saying in an AP report.
By Maggie Wong
[Images via Sohu]