Al-Shabaab hotel siege in Somali capital ends; over 16 slain

Photo: www.aljazeera.com

Somali authorities on Thursday said the security forces have brought to an end a bomb and gun attack by militants on a central Mogadishu hotel that killed at least 16 people and wounded 55.

Maj Nur Mohamed, Police Officer, said so far 16 people mostly civilians, have been confirmed dead and 55 others injured.

He said two lawmakers were among the dead in the attack which ended with police shooting the assailants.

Islamist militant group al Shabaab, affiliated with al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Hotel Ambassador.

Another police officer, Maj. Farah Ali, said the hotel was now secure after the entire building was cleared of militants.

He said the national security forces are in every floor, while the last fighter on the top roof was shot.

A witness said on condition of anonymity that he saw the last fighter shot dead, his body falling to the ground from the building’s fifth floor.

He said eight dead people lay in front of the hotel.

Al Shabaab was pushed out of Mogadishu by the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM in 2011.

But it has remained a potent threat in Somalia, launching frequent attacks aimed at overthrowing the Western-backed government.

The group has also been behind deadly attacks in Kenya and Uganda. Both contribute troops to an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.

Abdiasis Musab, al Shabaab’s Military Operations Spokesman, said they had lost three fighters during the hotel attack and killed 30 people.

He said one of the three dead fighters drove the car that rammed the hotel while the others stormed the hotel.

Musab said further that killing of 30 apostates including MPs and soldiers during the operation by al Shabaab’s was victorious as planned.

He added that they had injured 60 during the assault.

The building was extensively damaged during the attack and government forces had blocked off all the main roads near the scene. (Reuters/NAN)


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