Four killed, six injured in hotel attack in Mogadishu

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 10:50 |
Somali government forces patrol around a hotel in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, Dec. 11, 2019. (Xinhua/Hassan Bashi)


At least four people were killed and six others injured after extremist militant group, al-Shabab, stormed a popular hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Tuesday evening, an official confirmed.

A police officer who declined to be named told Xinhua that five armed men launched an attack on SYL Hotel and opened fire on the security staff of the hotel.

"We heard the sound of fire and when we came, we learned five militants broke into the hotel but our forces are now fighting them inside the hotel," the officer said.

"We can confirm four people were killed in the attack and six others injured, the death toll could rise as many people were inside the hotel including members of parliament," he added.

Zakia Hussein, deputy commissioner of the Somali Police Force, said two of the attackers were killed outside the hotel while others stormed inside and were still fighting the security officers.

"At around 7 p.m., the insurgents attacked SYL Hotel, two of them were killed outside the hotel and others are now fighting security forces inside the hotel," Hussein said in a brief statement.

Reports said security forces rescued more than 100 people who were inside the hotel at the time of the attack.

An eyewitness told Xinhua they heard a heavy blast followed by gunfire. "Armed men attacked the hotel, we were at a place near the hotel and the gunmen entered the building, the sound of gunfire is still heard in the hotel," Hassan Dhere, an eyewitness, said.

Independent sources said the lawmakers who were inside the hotel were among those injured.

The hotel is in a heavily guarded vicinity near the presidential palace. The attack comes months after Mogadishu experienced relative calm.

The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the latest attack saying they killed a number of government forces. (Xinhua)

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