At least nine dead in terrorist attack on hotel in Somalia

AFP extension

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At least nine people have died in a terrorist attack on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu. The six terrorists involved were also killed, police said at a news conference.

The attack lasted about twenty hours. Heavily armed militants from the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab raided the Villa Rose hotel on Sunday, which is often used by diplomats and politicians. The hotel is also located near the presidential palace.

Escape the windows

Homeland Security Secretary Doodishe was in the building at the time of the attack. He’s been hurt. Other politicians fled through windows and emergency exits.

Environment Minister Hirsi was also at the hotel during the attack. He told the BBC that the attack began with a large explosion, possibly caused by a suicide bomber, paving the way for the five remaining terrorists. A long battle then began between al-Shabaab fighters and the Somali security forces. About 60 people were rescued from the hotel during the attack.

Total war

In August, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared “total war” against al-Shabaab, which controls much of Somalia.

The terrorist group, which maintains close ties to al-Qaeda, regularly carries out attacks in an attempt to further destabilize the country. For example, a similar terrorist attack on a hotel in August left dozens dead, and at least a hundred people were killed in a two-car bomb attack on a busy intersection in Mogadishu.

The attack on the Villa Rose hotel came days after a large-scale operation by the Somali army against al-Shabaab in the center of the country that killed at least 100 militants, according to the government.

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