Monday August 17, 2020
Mogadishu (HOL) - The death toll has risen to 20 in Somalia after Al-Shabaab militants stormed a trendy beach-side hotel in the nation's capital on Sunday, according to the BBC and local journalists.
A suicide attacker drove a car bomb into the hotels front gates before five gunmen rushed in and began firing indiscriminately.
It took nearly four hours for security forces to seal off the hotel and end the siege. All of the Al-Shabaab militants were killed while one soldier was killed in the attack.
Among the dead are civilians and government officials.
The recently built hotel on Lido beach is owned by Abdullahi M Nor, a Member of Parliament and is a popular hangout among government officials and young people.
Nur vowed to reinvest in Somalia despite the attack at his hotel.
"I have invisted [sic] in my country for the last couple of years a millions [sic] of dollars & created a hundreds of jobs & I believe it was right thing to do and I will never give up due to such heinous terrorist attacks, and I am committed to invist [sic] more for the coming years Insha Allah."
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack through one of their media channels.
"The mujahideen have launched an operation consisting of martyrdom [suicide bombing] and a commando raid against a hotel belonging to an MP from the apostate group [Somali government]."
Turkey's foreign ministry condemned the "heinous' attack in Mogadishu.
"We received the news with deep sorrow that today (16 August) many people lost their lives and many others were injured as a result of a suicide attack with a bomb-laden vehicle following a shootout to a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital," the ministry said in a statement in English.
"We extend our condolences to the brotherly people and Government of Somalia, wish Allah's mercy upon those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured," it added.
The United Nations condemned the attack through the UNSOM twitter account.
"The UN family in Somalia strongly condemns the terrorist attack on the Elite Hotel in Mogadishu, which left many dead and injured, expresses its condolences to their families, and reaffirms its commitment to and #solidarity with all Somalis in the face of such attacks."
Al-Shabaab - an Al-Qaeda linked militant group that has been fighting Somalia's internationally-backed government, and it's partners since being ousted from the capital - has stepped up it's activities in Mogadishu in recent months.
Last week, officials said 20 people were killed after Al-Shabaab militants attempted to escape a prison compound in Mogadishu. The government has claimed that nobody broke free despite reports that Mubarak Ibrahim Idle, a senior Al-Shabaab operative sentenced to 10 years for his role in the group escaped from the heavily guarded prison.