Hotel Siege in Somalia’s Mogadishu Kills Six
At least six civilians have been killed and 10 others wounded in a six-hour siege by fighters from the armed group al-Shabab at a beachside hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, police said on Saturday.
“Three brave members of the security forces were martyred during the rescue operation,” the Somali Police Force said in a statement.
Security forces killed seven attackers from the al-Qaeda-linked rebel group, the statement added.
The attack took place on Friday evening at the popular upmarket Pearl Restaurant, on the capital’s Lido Beach.
“Security forces have successfully neutralised the #AlShabaab militants responsible for the terrorist attack on the Pearl Beach Hotel in Lido Beach, #Mogadishu,” Somali National News Agency, SONNA, said on Twitter.
“A large number of civilians were rescued during the operation,” SONNA said.
The news agency had earlier posted photos showing soldiers in the restaurant of the hotel responding to the attack. One stood next to a glass door with a bullet hole in it, while sandals and a dustpan lay near him.
Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Witnesses reported hearing an explosion followed by heavy gunfire at the hotel.
The attacks came only days after al-Shabab fighters killed 54 Ugandan peacekeepers in an attack on an African Union base in the southern town of Bulo Marer last month.
Al-Shabab has been driven out of Somalia’s main towns and cities but has retained power in large swaths of rural areas, and has continued to carry out attacks against security and civilian targets, including in the capital.