At least 12 killed in Somalia hotel siege, hostages held –


No less than 12 folks have been killed in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu after al Qaeda-linked militants attacked a resort, seizing hostages that authorities had been battling to free practically 20 hours later, an intelligence officer stated on Saturday (20 August).

The attackers blasted their method into the Hayat Resort on Friday night with two automobile bombs earlier than opening hearth. Somalia’s al Shabaab insurgents have claimed duty.

“Up to now we now have confirmed 12 folks, largely civilians, died,” Mohammed, an intelligence officer who solely gave one identify, informed Reuters.

The gunmen had been holding an unknown variety of hostages on the second flooring of the power, Mohammed stated, stopping authorities from utilizing heavy weapons.

They’d additionally bombed out the steps to make it more durable to entry sure flooring, he stated.

The detonations despatched large plumes of smoke over the busy junction on Friday evening, and the sound of gunfire nonetheless crackled throughout the capital by 0700 GMT on Saturday.

Sounds of explosions punctuated the evening as authorities forces tried to wrest management of the resort again from the militants, witnesses stated.

Giant sections of the resort had been destroyed by the combating, they stated.

Friday’s assault was the primary main assault since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took workplace in Could.

The al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group claimed duty for the assault, based on a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, which screens jihadist group statements.

Al Shabaab has been combating to topple the Somali authorities for greater than 10 years. It desires to determine its personal rule primarily based on a strict interpretation of Islamic legislation.

The Hayat Resort is a well-liked venue with lawmakers and different authorities officers. There was no quick info on whether or not any of them had been caught up within the siege.

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