Somalia's Al Qaeda-linked Shebab claim responsibility for hotel bombings, say "no safe haven for foreigners"
The Shebab claimed responsibility for the Jan. 2 twin bombing attack near Mogadishu's Jazeera hotel (Abdiwahab Mohamed/AFP)
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In a "New Year message," Shebab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage said, "This is the beginning of 2014. The fate of foreigners and local mercenaries will remain the same until they leave the country... they will have no safe haven in Somalia."
"[The Shebab] takes full responsibility for last night's attack that targeted a meeting of senior apostate intelligence officials in Mogadishu.The apostates are the eyes and ears of the invaders, and these attacks serve as a well-deserved punishment for their role in guiding and assisting the invading forces in their crusade against Islam and the Muslims of Somalia," Rage added.
The bombs exploded near the Jazeera hotel close to Mogadishu's international airport, an area frequented by Somali politicians and visiting foreign officials.
The Al-Qaeda linked group previously controlled most of southern and central Somalia as well as fixed positions in the capital, but withdrew from these areas two years ago.
Though African Union troops have been deployed to the country to mitigate violence ravaging the country, continued Shebab attacks on foreign and government officials have "shattered hopes" that restoring peace to the capital and the country will happen any time soon.