Over 19 Killed in Hotel Attack in Somalia's Capital
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – At least 19 people were killed when Takfiri attackers launched a car bomb and gun attack on a busy hotel and adjacent restaurant in the Somali capital, a police officer said on Thursday.
A car driven by a suicide bomber rammed into the Posh Hotel in south Mogadishu on Wednesday evening before gunmen rushed into Pizza House, an adjacent restaurant, and took 20 people hostage.
Abdi Bashir told Reuters the Somali security forces took control of the restaurant at midnight after the gunmen held hostages inside for several hours. Five of the gunmen were killed, Bashir said.
"We are in control of the hotel but it was mostly destroyed by the suicide bomber," he said.
Witnesses said there were bodies lying at the scene on Thursday morning as ambulances came to take them away.
Al-Shabab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Somalia has been a scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.
An al-Qaeda-aligned militant group, al-Shabab was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.