At least 12 people were killed in the Somali capital today Sunday, November 1, after Al-Shabaab terrorist used a vehicle packed with explosives to blast their way inside Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu.
The Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab claimed responsibility for the dawn attack at the hotel, which is popular with members of parliament, government employees and businessmen.
“Attackers exploded a car bomb to gain entry before going inside… we have reports of 12 dead,” policeman Abdulrahid Dahir said.
Witnesses said they had seen several bodies of people killed in the initial blast, when a minibus packed with explosives was reportedly used to ram the gates of the hotel’s fortified compound, which was followed by a second heavy explosion.
Al-Shabaab commandos then stormed inside, with witnesses reporting intense gunfire and several loud blasts.
“There was a huge explosion and people around the entrance were killed,” said Mohamed Ismael, a witness, who was nearby when the attack began.
Al-Shabaab spokesperson Abdulaziz Abu Musab claimed the gunmen had overrun the hotel, which is situated near the major K4 roundabout.
“The mujahedeen fighters took control of the Sahafi hotel, where apostates and invading Christians were staying,” he said in a statement. “The mujahedeen are carrying out operations inside the hotel after the takeover.”
But the African Union mission in Somalia, Amisom, a 22,000-strong force fighting the Shabaab, said they fought alongside government troops and had secured the hotel.
“Somalia government forces and Amisom have taken control,” the AU force said in a brief statement.
In the latest report, government officials claims all the gunmen have been killed. Below are photos of Somalia MP Abi Abtidon and a former army commander General, Dhega-Badan killed in the hotel attack.
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