Islamist militants stormed a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, taking hostages for almost 20 hours and ending in the death of at least 12. The terrorists stormed the hotel Friday evening using two car bombs before opening fire. Somalia’s al Shabaab, suspected to be linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility.
At least 10 people were killed in an attack by Islamic militants who stormed a hotel in Somalia’s capital late Friday, police and eyewitnesses said.
Several other people were injured and security forces rescued many others, including children, from the scene of the attack at Mogadishu’s Hayat Hotel, they said.
The attack started with explosions outside the hotel before gunmen entered the building.
Gunfire could still be heard early Saturday as security forces tried to contain the last gunmen, who were thought to be holed up in the hotel. It was unclear how many militants remained on the hotel’s top floor.
The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest of its frequent attempts to strike places that are often visited by government officials.
There was no immediate word on the identities of the victims.
“We were having tea near the hotel lobby when we heard the first blast followed by gunfire. I immediately rushed toward hotel rooms on the ground floor, and I locked,” eyewitness Abdullahi Hussein told the AP by phone. “The militants went straight upstairs and started shooting. I was inside the room until the security forces arrived and rescued me.”
He said that on his way to safety he saw “several bodies lying on the ground outside hotel reception.”
Al-Shabaab militants stormed #HayatHotel more than 18 hours ago. Government security forces are fighting their way hard to end the siege in a tough battle. At least 15 people have been killed in the attack. #Mogadishu
(Anonymous witness video). pic.twitter.com/ur9st3Qh2H
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) August 20, 2022
— Dalsan TV (@DalsanTv) August 20, 2022
Al Shabaab has perpetrated numbers attacks in recent years including storming a Kenyan university going door-to-door asking for ‘the Christians’ and slaughtering 147 students.
In August 2020, 11 were killed in a similar attack on an exclusive hotel in Somalia’s capital.
The death toll has risen to 20 with with an additional 40 people wounded.