Somali Minister Among 15 Killed in Terrorist Attack on Hotel

Huge blasts rocked a hotel in Mogadishu on Saturday, followed by heavy gunfire as attackers fought their way inside.

Updated27 Jun 2016, 04:49 AM IST
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A Somali Cabinet minister is among the 15 killed in an Islamic extremist attack on a hotel in the capital, police said. The attack left ten others wounded.

Four attackers also died in the assault which was claimed by al-Shabaab, Somalia’s militant rebels who are allied to al-Qaida.

The body of Buri Mohamed Hamza, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s office for the environment, has been retrieved from the collapsed building of the Naasa Hablood hotel, the ministry said.

“We attacked the hotel which was frequented by the apostate government members,” al-Shabaab military operations spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters, adding that the group’s fighters were inside the building.

Al-Shabaab frequently carries out attacks in the capital in its bid to topple the Western-backed government.

Those who died included civilians and hotel guards. We have rescued many people from the back door. No one can enter the building from the front or near the front. There are snipers there.
Ali Hassan, Police

Muslims in Somalia and around the world are observing Ramzan. In previous years, al-Shabaab has often intensified attacks during the fasting month, often picking targets where people gather just before or after breaking the fast.

The assault came three weeks after an attack on the city’s Ambassador hotel that left 10 dead, including two lawmakers.

In November last year, the Islamists carried out a similar attack on the Sahafi hotel in central Mogadishu, leaving at least 12 dead.

In recent months they have also claimed attacks on bases of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

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Published: 25 Jun 2016, 04:12 PM IST

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