At least seven killed in bomb attack in Mogadishu

Al Shabab claims responsibility for bomb attack outside hotel near international airport in Somali capital.

MOGADISHU - At least seven people were killed and 27 others wounded when a bomb went off outside a hotel near the international airport in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Monday, medical officials said.

The Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabab, which is trying to topple Somalia's weak UN-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The city's Madina hospital received seven bodies and 27 people with injuries, 17 of them serious, said Nura Hassan, a nurse at the hospital.

The blast went off at the first checkpoint on the road that leads to Mogadishu airport, said Farah Hussein, a shopkeeper who witnessed the attack.

Somalia has been riven by civil war since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator, then turned on each other.