Somalia: Al-Shabaab Hotel Attack Kills 15 in Mogadishu
An attack carried out by militant group Al-Shabaab at a popular hotel in the Somali capital has killed at least 15 people.
The assault was carried out on the Ambassador Hotel in the centre of Mogadishu on Wednesday. A car bomb exploded outside the gates of the premises before gunmen are believed to have entered the hotel. Local authorities have said government forces engaged with the gunmen inside the hotel.
The explosion was powerful enough to damage property on the opposite side of the street to the hotel. The majority of victims in the attack are believed to have been killed by the explosion and more than 20 more were injured by the blast.
— Mohamed Midnimo (@mmidnimo) June 1, 2016
Thick smog from the explosion rose high above the city’s skyline and reporters at the scene say sporadic gunfire opened soon after. Al-Shabaab gunmen are believed to have then entered the hotel in a bid to target those inside.
— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) June 1, 2016
Growing danger in Mogadishu
Attacks carried out by Al-Shabaab in the Somali capital are growing both in scale and regularity. After largely pushing the militant group out of the city, security forces in the country have endured a revived effort from the terrorist organisation, which has turned Mogadishu into a constant target.
Al-Shabaab’s renewed push is believed to be partly due to the growing presence of ISIS in the region. Competition between the rival organisations was anticipated and Mogadishu appears to be the first victim. Hotels have been a regular target in the city this year with attacks aimed at government officials and overseas diplomats. However, most of the casualties in this latest incident are believed to be civilians – who all too often get caught up in the violence.
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