الأربعاء , يونيو 17 2020

Ten dead in Somali hotel attack

An injured man is evacuated from a scene of a car bomb explosion in front of a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, 27 March 2015

Civilians as well as government officials are among the casualties

Somali government forces are fighting to regain control of a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, which has been stormed by al-Shabab militants.

Ten people have been killed in the gun battle at the Maka al-Mukarama hotel, including the Somali ambassador to Switzerland, Yusuf Bari Bari.

Other diplomats escaped by jumping from windows.

US-trained Somali special forces have been able to take back control of most of the hotel.

Latest reports say the militants are now on the top floors and the roof, firing guns and throwing grenades.

Police officer Major Ismail Olow told Reuters that he believed there were originally nine attackers, six of whom had been killed.

A solder walks past at the scene of a car bomb attack and armed raid by Al Shebab militants on the Maka al Mukarama hotel in Mogadishu on March 27, 2015

The attack began with a car bomb outside the hotel

Somali soldiers take position after an attack on a hotel in Mogadishu Somalia, Friday, March, 27, 2015

Government forces are battling to take full control of the building

An injured man gestures at the scene of a car bomb attack and armed raid by militants on the Maka al Mukarama hotel in Mogadishu on March 27, 2015.

The hotel is popular with government officials and business people

The attack began when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed car outside the building.

Targets

Hotels in Mogadishu are often targeted by al-Shabab militants, who were driven from the city several years ago but still control southern rural areas.

An al-Shabab spokesman told the BBC that the Maka al-Mukarama was attacked because of its popularity with government officials.

“We don’t consider it to be a hotel – it’s a government base,” he said.

A car bomb went off outside the hotel earlier this month – the al-Qaeda-linked Islamists also said they were behind that attack.

Many politicians and businessmen stay at the hotel as it is on the main road linking the presidential palace to the city’s airport.

Somalia has been ravaged by conflict for more than two decades.

But thousands of Somalis have been returning from abroad to help rebuild the country as security has improved in recent years.

African Union troops have been helping the UN-backed government retake territory from the militants.

شاهد أيضاً

COPTIC SOLIDARITY LAUNCHES URGENT CALL TO END CRIME OF FORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF COPTIC WOMEN IN EGYPT

A Coptic woman, Ranya Abd al-Masih (“servant of Christ”), 39, disappeared in Egypt on April 22, 2020, …