MOGADISHU: Somali authorities ended a deadly attack on Sunday in which at least 20 people were killed and scores more injured when gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital.
It took more than 30 hours for Somali forces to contain the fighters who had stormed Mogadishu‘s Hayat Hotel on Friday night during an assault which began with loud explosions.
The siege ended around midnight, police commissioner Abdi Hassan Hijar told reporters.
“During the attack, security forces rescued many civilians trapped in the hotel, including women and children,” he said.
The police have not yet given a detailed explanation of the course of the attack. It is not known how many armed men entered the hotel.
Ismail Abdi, the hotel manager, told The Associated Press that security forces were still working to clear the area.
No more gunshots could be heard after 9 a.m. local time. Onlookers gathered outside the gates of the badly damaged hotel on Sunday morning, surveying the scene.
The extremist Islamist group al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest of its frequent attempts to hit locations visited by government officials.
The attack on the hotel is the first major terrorist incident in Mogadishu since Somalia’s new leader, Hassan Sheikh Mohamudtook over in May.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack, according to the statement from a spokesman who said the UN stood with the people of Somalia “in their fight against terrorism and their march towards peace. “.

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