Somali security forces end Al Shabaab hotel attack in Mogadishu

Somali security forces end Al Shabaab hotel attack in Mogadishu

Official: In the last hour, no shots were fired from the building (Getty)

Somali forces ended an attack launched by Al-Shabab on Friday on a hotel in Mogadishu and remained holed up in it for more than thirty hours, according to what a security official announced around midnight on Saturday, Sunday. This comes as Western, Arab and Islamic countries and organizations condemned the attack adopted by the movement.

“The security forces have now ended the siege and the gunmen were killed. In the last hour, no shots were fired from the building,” the official said, requesting anonymity, adding that the government will give a media briefing on Sunday morning about the bloody attack.

The official did not give any information about the total number of victims of the attack on the “Hyatt” hotel, or about the death toll of Al-Shabaab movement, and only said that the government will give a briefing on Sunday morning about the bloody attack.

The hotel was heavily damaged after Somali forces bombed it to eliminate the attackers holed up in it, but the official stressed the need to search the building in anticipation of any explosives that the attackers might have planted.

On Friday evening, gunmen in the movement stormed the “Hyatt” hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, where they killed at least 13 civilians, according to security official Mohamed Abdel-Qader, to “AFP”, bringing the number after that to 21 dead and 40 wounded, according to what he said. A source in the Somali police told “Anadolu Agency”.

On Saturday, Somali security forces bombed the hotel to end the Al-Shabab attack on its second night, witnesses said.

The witness, Salad Ali, indicated that the security forces are currently shelling the hotel with heavy weapons.

Ali, who is following the events from the roof of a neighboring building, said that “the fire broke out in part of the hotel, there were two strong explosions and other explosions of less intensity.”

“It is possible to see flames rising from the weapons used, the fire is raging and intermittent firing can be heard,” he added.

Somali police spokesman Abdel Fattah Aden Hassan told reporters that the attack began with a suicide bombing.

This is the largest attack on Mogadishu since the election of the new Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, in May

Witnesses also reported that a second explosion occurred outside the hotel a few minutes after the first explosion, which led to casualties among relief workers, members of the security forces and civilians who rushed to the scene after the first explosion.

Al-Shabab has been waging an insurgency against the Somali federal government, backed by the international community, for 15 years. In the statement that claimed the attack, it said that its fighters were “shooting randomly inside the hotel.”

Abdul Aziz Abu Musab, al-Shabab spokesman, announced Saturday on Radio Andalus, affiliated with the movement, that his forces are still in control of the building and that they “inflicted heavy losses” on the security forces.

This is the largest attack on Mogadishu since the election of the new Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in May. The government has yet to comment on it.

International and Arab condemnations

Western, Arab and Islamic countries and organizations condemned the attack, which was claimed by Al-Shabab.

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the “heinous terrorist attack,” noting that it “received with great sadness the news of the death and injury of many people in the attack.

The ministry offered its condolences to the families of the victims and to the brotherly and friendly Somali people and government.

The United States also condemned the attack, in a statement from its embassy in Mogadishu, pledging to “continue to support Somalia to hold the killers accountable.”

In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist attack,” affirming “the Kingdom’s position rejecting all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism,” and expressing “sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, and to the government and brotherly people of Somalia.”

In a statement, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed the country’s “condemnation of the terrorist attack,” stressing its “persistent rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at destabilizing security and stability and inconsistent with religious and humanitarian values ​​and principles.”

In the same context, Egypt, in a statement by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, condemned the “terrorist attack”, affirming its “full solidarity with Somalia in this painful affliction,” and stressing its “total rejection of all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism.”

Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Nations Mission to Somalia, the Arab Parliament, the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council also condemned the attack.

(AFP, Anatolia)

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