Hotel in Mogadishu Attacked by al-Shabaab, At Least 9 Dead

Wednesday, 03 Feb, 2021

Somali police said the attack on Mogadishu's Hotel Afrik was brought to an end early Monday after heavy exchanges of gunfire with security forces and an initial auto bombing.

"The operation is over now".

Security forces ended the assault by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab terrorists early on Monday, a police spokesman said.

At least four attackers also died - according to AFP news agency three were shot and one blew himself up.

Al-Shabab, Somalia's homegrown jihadist rebels, claimed responsibility for the attack through their Andalus radio station.

Attacks are frequent in Somalia: In December, a vehicle-borne IED killed 85 people in Mogadishu and another hotel bombing in Kismayo in July killed 26 people.

The al-Shabaab terrorist group frequently carries out attacks against the country's government, which is supported by the United Nations and the African Union peacekeeping mission.

A hotel in Somalia's capital has been hit by an explosion and an attack by jihadist rebels, police have confirmed.

Among the dead are General Mohamed Nur Galal, a well-known retired army veteran who lived in the hotel.

A vehicle bomb exploded at the entrance of Hotel Afriq Hotel along the main road to the airport before the Al Qaeda-linked fighters opened fire at the guards. Somali officials blamed the violence on groups backed by neighboring Kenya, allegations that officials in Nairobi denied. Many senior Somali government officials and military officers were also present at the time of the attack.

On February 8, Somalia is scheduled to hold a presidential election.

Last September, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed appointed Roble as prime minister, who in October then reshuffled his cabinet.

Al-Shabaab has been waging a violent insurgency across the Horn of Africa country seeking to unseat the internationally backed government in Mogadishu.