Somalia: Mogadishu hotel attack death toll rises to 21

Somalia: Mogadishu hotel attack death toll rises to 21

Security forces put an end to on the attack on the night of Saturday to Sunday, announcing the death of all the attackers.

A building destroyed after a deadly 30-hour siege by jihadists in Mogadishu.

Toll from the attack on a Mogadishu hotel by radical Shabab Islamists, which lasted 30 hours and ended around midnight on Saturday, has risen to 21 civilians killed, the Somali health minister announced on Sunday.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed at this stage [the death toll of] 21 dead and 117 injured in the attack on Hayat Hotel in the Somali capital which began on Friday evening, said Minister Ali Haji Adan .

On Sunday, relatives of those missing in the attack were awaiting news from relatives following the bombing that involved a blast; a bomb and gunfire by Islamist Shabab, a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

Rescuers were trying to find possible survivors among the rubble on Sunday morning, AFP journalists said, while the hotel's gated areas were quiet and experts were on the move. ;were working to detect possible explosives.

The hotel suffered heavy damage during the confrontation between the Shabab and the security forces, some parts of the building having collapsed.

The attack, claimed by Shabab, is the most serious in Mogadishu since new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in June, following months of political instability. It highlights the challenge for him of the Islamist insurgency, which has lasted for 15 years against the federal government.

Police Commissioner Abdi Hassan Mohamed Hijar announced the end of a deadly siege.

Police Commissioner Abdi Hassan Mohamed Hijar told reporters on Sunday that 106 people, including women and children, were rescued by security forces during the siege, which ended around midnight.

The victims were affected mainly in the first hours of the attack, he added.

Shabab spokesman Abdiaziz Abu-Musab told their station, Radio Andalus, on Saturday that the group had inflicted heavy casualties on security forces.

According to a woman witness, Hayat Ali, three children from the same family, aged between four and seven, were found by security forces, in a state of shock, hiding in the hotel toilets.


Dozens of people looking for news of their relatives were gathered on the street leading to the hotel on Sunday morning, but were blocked from a distance by the security forces.< /p>

Muktar Adan, a businessman whose brother was at the hotel on Friday night, told AFP he was waiting for permission to approach the establishment. My brother was in the hotel when we last heard from him, but his phone is off now and we don't know what to expect, he said.


Said Nurow explains that he is worried about his friend who was staying in the hotel. I hope he is alive, he was staying at the hotel according to the latest information received from his sister, he told AFP. /p>

The hotel, where many people were staying at the time of the attack, was a popular meeting place for government officials.

Somalia's allies, including the US, UK and Turkey, as well as the UN, strongly condemned the attack.

We express our sincere condolences to the families who lost loved ones, wish a full recovery to those injured, and commend the Somali security forces, the US State Department said.

The Shabab were driven out of Somalia's main cities, including Mogadishu in 2011, but remain entrenched in large rural areas. In recent months, they have intensified their attacks.

On Wednesday, the US military said it had killed in an airstrike 13 Shabab militiamen who were attacking Somali regular forces soldiers in a remote area of ​​the Horn of Africa country.

In May, US President Joe Biden decided to re-establish a military presence in Somalia to fight the Shabab there, approving a request from the Pentagon which considered the rotation system decided by his predecessor Donald to be too risky and ineffective. Trump at the end of his term.

Somalia's new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud said last month that a military approach is insufficient to end the war. Shabab insurgency.

In early August, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre announced the appointment of a former Shabab leader, turned politician, as Minister of Religious Affairs . Muktar Robow, alias Abu Mansour, publicly defected in August 2017 from the movement he helped found.

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