Somalia: 16 Killed in Latest Al-Shabaab Hotel Attack
A hotel attack carried out by Al-Shabaab in the Somali capital has killed 16 people, including a state minister.
Another 20 people have been injured in the latest attack carried out in Mogadishu by the militant group. Muslims around the world are observing the holy month of Ramadan – a period when Al-Shabaab often intensifies its attacks in Somalia.
Nasa Hablod hotel siege
The attack took place on Saturday after a vehicle packed with explosives was detonated outside Hotel Nasa Hablod in central Mogadishu. A second explosion was then detonated before gunmen sieged the hotel, fighting their way into the building.
“They were shooting at everyone they could see. I escaped through the back door,” one witness told the press.
Among the sixteen now confirmed to have been killed was Bur’i Mohamed Hamza, State Minister for Environment Affairs. Al-Shabaab attacks regularly target hotels popular with government officials and foreign diplomats.
Hotel reclaimed, three gunmen killed
Security forces battled with the gunmen until late on Saturday when they were able to claim back the hotel and evacuate survivors. Three Al-Shabaab gunmen were killed in the shootout and it’s believed they were the only fighters involved in the attack.
“The special security forces have ended the siege after killing three attackers inside the hotel. Eleven civilians, two of them doctors, were killed in the attack,” Abdi Kamil Shukri, a security ministry spokesman, told the press before further casualties were confirmed.
Saturday’s attack comes a matter of weeks after Al-Shabaab fighters targeted Hotel Ambassador on June 1. At least 16 people were killed in that attack and 55 more injured after a car bomb exploded and gunmen sieged the hotel. It’s a familiar pattern for Al-Shabaab attacks in the capital during a month where the group insists on intensifying violence.
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