Somali security forces recaptured a hotel in Mogadishu that was occupied by radical Islamists. According to the French agency AFP, the attackers are dead. Earlier it was reported that 13 people were killed in the attack on the hotel.
– The security forces have ended the siege. The attackers are dead, a Somali officer told AFP. He did not provide further details neither on the total number of victims of the attack on the hotel, nor on the number of fighters killed. He only added that the authorities would provide journalists with more information about the attack on Sunday morning.
According to the earlier official balance sheet, 13 people were killed. According to unofficial information – 20 people.
Attack on a hotel in Mogadishu
On Friday evening, radical Islamists from the al-Shabaab group associated with al-Qaeda, detonated two bombs hidden in cars in front of the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu, then burst into the building, opening fire on hotel guests. As a result of the fighting, the hotel, which is a popular meeting place for deputies and other government officials, was destroyed.
Al-Shabaab militants want to overthrow Somali government
Earlier this week, the United States announced that its forces had killed 13 al-Shabaab fighters in a raid in the mid-south of the country as Islamic fighters attacked Somali forces. The US has launched several attacks on militants in recent weeks. In May, President Joe Biden ordered the restoration of a US military presence in Somalia to help local authorities fight al-Shabab by reversing the decision of his predecessor, Donald Trump, to withdraw most of US forces.
Militants within the group have also recently launched attacks on the Somali-Ethiopian border, raising concerns about a possible new strategy for Islamic militants. Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, said last month that ending the insurgency requires more than a military approach, but that his government will only negotiate with the group at the right time.
Al-Shabaab fighters were driven out of the capital in 2011 by African Union forces, but the group continues to control rural areas and has the ability to carry out deadly attacks on civilian and military targets. The organization admitted to similar attacks in the past. In early May, al-Shabab Islamists attacked an African Union peacekeeping military base near Mogadishu, killing many Burundian soldiers. The attack came days before the Somali presidential election. In August 2020, it announced that it was behind the attack on another hotel in Mogadishu, which killed at least 16 people.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / SAID YUSUF WARSAME