Extremist attack on hotel in Mogadishu kills at least 29
An Islamist attack on a hotel in the Somali capital ended on Oct. 29 after 29 people had been killed in a near 12-hour siege, police said, underlining the insurgents’ ability to carry out deadly attacks in the heart of the city.
“The death toll may rise. We suspect some other militants disguised themselves and escaped with the residents who were rescued,” police officer Major Mohamed Hussein told Reuters.
“Three militants were captured alive and two others blew up themselves after they were shot,” he added.
The assault started late on Oct. 28 when a suicide truck bomb exploded outside the popular hotel in the capital. The blast twisted vehicles and caused massive damage to nearby buildings which were left with only their walls standing.
The attackers invaded the hotel and gunfire continued as security forces fought them inside the building. Two more blasts were heard, one when an attacker detonated a suicide vest.
Troops regained control of the Nasa-Hablod hotel on yesterday morning.
The explosion destroyed the front of the three-storey hotel and a next door hotel was also damaged. Many Somali officials live in fortified hotels because they offer better security from attack.
Extremist group al-Shabaab claimed the attack on Oct. 28. They want to overthrow the U.N.-backed government and impose a strict form of Islamic law.
Included in the dead were a mother and three children, including a baby, all shot in the head, Hussein said. Other victims included a senior Somali police colonel, a former lawmaker and a former government minister.
Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said the new attack was meant to instill fear in Somalis who united after the Oct. 14 bombing.