Somalia
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Somalia: Al-Shabab attacks hotel at Mogadishu beach

Somali security forces “neutralized” Islamist rebels who had attacked a hotel in the country’s capital city of Mogadishu, the Somali National News Agency (SONNA) reported on Saturday.

It added that security forces had rescued “many civilians from inside the hotel” and “shot and killed” those responsible.

The Al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack on the affluent Pearl Beach Hotel at Lido Beach.

Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Aamin Ambulance Services, said that they had threated seven injured people.

Somali police said that 6 people were killed in the attack, including 3 members of security forces. 10 people were injured in the attack, according to the police statement.

What do we know about the hotel attack?

Witnesses said they heard gunfire and explosions at the hotel on Lido Beach. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance of the hotel, the DPA news agency reported, citing police officer Mohamed Dahir. Gunmen followed, storming the building.

Other hotel guests were also taken hostage, security official Hassan Ali told DPA.

The siege of the hotel continued into the early hours of Saturday. The official Somali news agency posted on Twitter photos purportedly showing security personnel extracting civilians.

Explosion in the south kills score of children

Elsewhere in Somalia on Friday, a mortar shell exploded near a town in the Lower Shabelle region, killing some 27 individuals, mostly children.

The children were playing with an intact mortar shell which then exploded. Over 50 others were injured.

The unexploded shell was used by Somalia’s warring factions, residents said.

“We request the government and aid agencies to clear mines and shells from the area,” Abdi Ahmed, deputy district commissioner of Qoryoley, told reporters.

Al-Shabab has been waging a jihadi insurgency against the Somali central government for more than 15 years.

The al-Qaida-linked jihadi group seeks to establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic law in the fragile Horn of Africa country.

Source; reuters