Gunmen stormed a hotel by the sea in Mogadishu on Sunday after a car bomb exploded. During the armed attack, at least five people died and a dozen were injured, according to a still provisional assessment.
At least five people were killed and a dozen injured on Sunday (August 16) in the attack on a hotMogadishu visited by government officials, a Somali government security official told AFP.
“There are still sporadic firearms in the hotel, and according to the first information received, there are five dead and more than ten wounded,” according to the official. He added that the “death toll” could increase further because the explosion that preceded the attack on the facility by armed men “was massive” and there are “hostages in the hotel”.
“It was a car bomb blast targeting the Elite Hotel on Lido Beach” and “there are heavy firearms inside the hotel,” said Adan Ibrahim, a former police officer in the area.
Witnesses confirmed that the attack on the Elite Hotel began with a powerful explosion and then people ran from the construction site where shots were heard.
This type of operation is similar to that usually carried out by the Shebab jihadists in the Somali capital.
“It is chaos”
“The explosion was very strong and I saw smoke in the area, there is chaos and people are fleeing the surrounding buildings,” according to one of these witnesses, Ali Sayid Adan.
On Monday, at least four people were killed in a crossfire in Mogadishu’s central prison after prisoners managed to seize weapons held by their guards.
All the prisoners involved in the incident were radical Shebab Islamists, some of whom served life sentences, a police authority said on condition of anonymity.
Driven from the Somali capital in 2011, the shebab lost most of its strongholds. But they still control large rural areas where they carry out guerrilla operations and suicide attacks, including in the capital, against government, security or civilian targets.
Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the loss of the Somali government, supported by the international community and the 20,000 men of the African Union force in Somalia (Amisom).