Somalia: At least 12 dead in attack on a major Mogadishu hotel

At least twelve people were killed on Sunday in an attack on a large hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu by Islamist Shebab who used a vehicle packed with explosives to clear a path inside the institution, police said.
Shebab insurgents affiliated with al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack which took place at dawn in Sahafi hotel, located near the K4 junction and attended by parliamentarians, government officials and businessmen.
A vehicle packed with explosives was launched against the fortified walls of the hotel, then armed men rushed into the building, making use of automatic weapons and grenades, witnesses said.
“It is the act of an extremist group increasingly desperate and who knows internal divisions,” responded Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a statement earlier this afternoon, after security forces had managed to overcome the resistance of the Shebab.
“Our security forces fully control the situation,” he added. The Somali National Intelligence Agency had already announced in the late morning that the attack was over, although the security forces have long continued to search the building.
The military force of the African Union in Somalia (AMISOM), consisting of 22,000 men who fight alongside the Shebab Somali government, said to have worked with government forces to regain control of the hotel.
“The AMISOM praised the quick and professional response of Somali government security forces which helped control the situation in time,” she said in a statement, while condemning “strongly” an attack “senseless”.

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