At least 25 people were killed and 50 injured when unidentified gunmen stormed an upscale hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Friday evening.
A number of gunmen are still holding hostages and firing from inside toward security forces slowing the operation to retake control of the hotel.
Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. A US airstrike on Sunday killed 13 members of the group. It is unclear if the Friday attack is connected to that strike.
“It took us over 24 hours to end the terrorist siege at Hayat Hotel because the attackers took civilians as hostages and used them as human shields. We cleared the first and top floors. But they are still in the middle two floors,” Police Major Yasin Haji said.
Ahmed Abdi, a doctor at Madina Hospital, said that the death toll was likely to rise and many victims were in critical condition. Madina is one of the two major hospitals in Mogadishu where most of the victims were taken.
In May, US President Joe Biden decided to redeploy troops to Somalia in support of the local government and to counter al-Shabaab.
The @UN in #Somalia strongly condemns the Al-Shabaab attack on the Hayat Hotel in #Mogadishu, and extends its condolences to the victims' families. It wishes a speedy recovery for the injured, and expresses its solidarity with all #Somalis in their fight against #terrorism. pic.twitter.com/KjPQiYxaTt
— UNSOM (@UNSomalia) August 20, 2022
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Mogadishu hotel attack: Death toll rises – CNN
- Islamic Militants Storm Hotel in Somalia, at Least 20 Dead – The Wall Street Journal
- Al-Shabab: Somali forces claim end to deadly 30-hour hotel siege – BBC
- At least 20 people are dead after gunmen stormed a hotel in Somalia’s capital – NPR