Bomb explodes near Turkish delegation in Somalia a day before Erdogan’s visit
A suicide car bomb exploded at the gate of a Mogadishu hotel where Turkish delegates were meeting on Thursday, a day ahead of a visit by their President Tayyip Erdogan to the Somali capital, police said.
“The Turkish delegates are safe inside the hotel, police captain Farah Nur told Reuters. “The car exploded outside and we are still investigating details of casualties.”
No members of a Turkish delegation in Somalia to prepare for a visit by Erdogan were harmed in the attack, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said. Erdogan will go ahead with his planned visit to Somalia on Friday, a source at his office said.
In Ankara, Turkish officials said there were no casualties among the Turkish delegation and Erdogan’s visit would go ahead.
Mogadishu is the frequent target of car bombs, and the city has been under heavy security ahead of Erdogan’s visit.
Erdogan is currently visiting Ethiopia.
Erdogan became the first non-African leader to visit war torn Somalia in nearly 20 years when he travelled there in 2011, as Turkey’s prime minister.
Turkey is a key ally of the Somali government. It was a major contributor to the humanitarian aid effort at the height of the 2011 famine and Ankara continues to build hospitals and dispatch aid across Somalia.