On the afternoon of July 26, an attacker drove a car rigged with bombs into the gate of a hotel in Somalia’s capital, setting off explosions that left 15 people dead and over 40 injured. The militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, saying that its intended targets were Western diplomats. The Jazeera Palace Hotel, where the suicide bombing took place, was frequented by foreign diplomats, as it housed the embassies of China, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. China’s embassy, located on the top two floors of the hotel, was damaged in the bombing. The embassy also sustained casualties in the attack.
According to a statement from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, one member of the embassy’s security staff “died from severe injuries” sustained in the bombing. Three other staff were described as “mildly injured.” Lu said that China’s Foreign Ministry “immediately took emergency response measures” and transferred the embassy staff to a separate location. Lu said that China “is deeply shocked by the terrorist attack and strongly condemns it.”
Somalia’s president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, also condemned the “callous” attack, which he attributed to terrorist “gangsters and conmen.” Mohamud vowed that “the Jazeera Palace will be rebuilt and it will soon be back in business.” AFP reported that the “hotel was torn apart by the explosion,” with one side demolished.