A Somali intelligence official told Reuters on Saturday that at least 12 people were killed as a result of an attack by gunmen on a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Al-Shabab fighters loyal to al-Qaeda have admitted the attack. Earlier, Mohamed Abdelkader, representative of the Somali authorities, reported that the security forces managed to rescue most of the people in the building. Running services continues.
Two bombs hidden in two cars exploded on Friday near the Al Hayat Hotel in the capital Somalia And Reuters news agency reported that Mogadishu was then taken over by unknown assailants. A police representative told Reuters, “A car crashed into the barrier of a hotel, while another crashed into the gate of a hotel.”
Eyewitnesses say that the explosions injured rescuers, security personnel and civilians, especially those who rushed to the scene to help. – The area is cordoned off now and there is an exchange of fire between the security forces and the bandits – said one of the witnesses, Muhammad Salad.
Al-Qaeda-linked group Al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow the Somali government, claimed responsibility for the attack. The group said in a brief statement on the Shabab Support website that “a group of Al-Shabab attackers forcibly stormed the Al-Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu. The gunmen carried out indiscriminate shooting at the hotel.”
There are victims
Security officer Abdul Qadir Hassan said the incident led to violent clashes between security forces and jihadist bandits. “We don’t know the details yet, but there are casualties and the security forces are now fighting the besieged enemy inside the building,” he added. It is not clear if there are hostages in the hotel. It is also unknown how many attackers are inside.
According to Reuters, the Somali intelligence representative said, for now, the authorities can confirm that 12 people were killed as a result of the attack, most of them civilians. “The process is nearing completion, but it is still ongoing,” he added.
“The security forces attacked terrorists who were trapped in a room in the hotel building, and most of the people were rescued,” Somali security representative Mohamed Abdelkader said on Saturday morning.
Life is a popular meeting place for government officials.
Al-Shabab fighters want to overthrow the Somali government
Earlier this week United State They announced that their forces killed 13 al-Shabab fighters in a raid in the south of the country, while Islamist fighters attacked the Somali forces. The United States has launched several attacks on militants in recent weeks. In May, President Joe Biden He ordered the restoration of the US military presence in Somalia to assist the local authorities in fighting Al-Shabaab by reversing the decision of his predecessor, Donald Trumpabout the withdrawal of most US forces.
Militants within the group recently launched attacks on the Somali-Ethiopian border, raising concerns about a possible new strategy by Islamist militants. Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, said last month that ending the insurgency required more than a military approach, but that his government would only negotiate with the group in time.
Al-Shabab fighters were expelled from the capital in 2011 by African Union forces, but the group still controls rural areas and has the ability to carry out deadly attacks on civilian and military targets. The organization has admitted to committing similar attacks in the past. And in August 2020, it claimed responsibility for an attack on another hotel in Mogadishu, in which at least 16 people were killed.
Main image source: PAP / EPA / SAID YUSUF WARSAME
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