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Top Somali officials fired over deadly blasts

Sunday October 29, 2017

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

The country's police chief and the director of national intelligence were sacked following an emergency cabinet meeting, officials said.

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

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They came just two weeks after at least 358 people died in another attack.

Police said 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.
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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