A suicide bombing outside a hotel in western Somalia killed at least 20 people Thursday including the national security minister. The Somali president accused al-Qaida of being behind the attack.
Witness Mohamed Nur said a small car headed toward the gate of the Medina Hotel in Belet Weyne, then drove into vehicles leaving the hotel and exploded.
Information Minister Farhan Ali Mohamud announced the death of National Security Minister Omar Hashi Aden but declined to give any other details.
Somalia's president accused al-Qaida of being behind the bombing, which he said also killed a senior Somali diplomat.
"It was an act of terrorism and it is part of the terrorist attack on our people," Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed told journalists in the capital. "Al-Qaida is attacking us."