Somali special forces ended a siege at a hotel in Mogadishu that was stormed by armed al-Shabab fighters. The attack on the Elite Hotel in Mogadishu began Sunday afternoon after a car bomb exploded at the gates of the hotel on Lido Beach.
At least 16 people are reported to have been killed at the beachfront hotel, including 5 members of the group.
According to the BBC, witnesses said the blast could be heard across Mogadishu and that mayhem followed as people fled the area. Al Shabaab then stormed the establishment, seizing hostages. The Elite Hotel, which is owned by an MP, was built just recently, and is reported to have been popular with officials. It is one of the most heavily guarded in Mogadishu.
The hotel was sealed off by security forces, and a gun battle ensued between al Shabaab members and Somalia’s forces. The siege ended four hours later with government spokesperson Ismael Mukhtaar Omar tweeting that all the gunmen had been killed. Among the dead are also a senior interior ministry official and another from the defence ministry. Three hotel guards were also killed. l
More than 200 people were rescued from the hotel, but dozens were reported to have been wounded.
Umm Muhammed Umar