Ex-Somali lawmaker says he knew hotel suicide bomber

 Former Somali member of parliament Salat Ali Jelle said Saturday he personally knew the woman suicide bomber who attacked Central Hotel in Mogadishu Friday.

IANS| Last Updated: Feb 21, 2015, 21:39 PM IST

Mogadishu: Former Somali member of parliament Salat Ali Jelle said Saturday he personally knew the woman suicide bomber who attacked Central Hotel in Mogadishu Friday.

Jelle said Somali-Dutch Lul Ahmed blew herself up, killing more than 25 people including two lawmakers, and wounding over 45 others.

Ahmed was his favourite receptionist at the hotel, Jelle said, adding that it did not occur to him that she would carry out such a deadly attack.

"She was one of the most active receptionists at the hotel and I used to joke with her. She was like my daughter," Jelle told Xinhua news agency in Mogadishu, adding that Ahmed was warm, welcoming and very respectful.

The former lawmaker survived the deadly attack in the hotel, which is popular with senior government officials including foreigners.

Somali security agencies have since taken over the home of the female suicide bomber in Mogadishu for more investigation.

Somali terrorist outfit Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they targeted government ministers and lawmakers who gathered at the hotel for Friday prayers ahead of a national holiday.