News ID: 203368
Published: 0531 GMT October 29, 2017

Somali police end long siege of hotel, say 23 dead

Somali police end long siege of hotel, say 23 dead

Some 23 people have been confirmed dead in the latest high-profile attack targeting the Somali capital of Mogadishu as police declare the end of the long-night battle against militants who stormed a heavily-fortified hotel in the city and then launched a siege.

Police Captain Mohamed Hussein said Sunday that three attackers had been killed and two were captured alive after the attack on the Nasa-Hablod in Mogadishu.

The siege followed a huge bomb attack at the gates of the hotel. A truck laden with explosives was detonated in the area, twisting vehicles and inflicting massive damage to nearby buildings which were left with only their walls standing. Police Colonel Mohamed Abdullahi said the attacker responsible for the truck pretended that his vehicle had broken down, managing to stop it in front of the hotel compound. Two more blasts were carried out during the night-long siege.

The attack came nearly two weeks after a similar truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street which left 350 people killed.

Somali authorities moved to sack the police and intelligence chiefs Sunday in response to their inability to stop attacks on the city. Somalia's security minister Mohamed Abukar Islow recommended the cabinet to vote to fire the chiefs after the two attacks this month.

Somalia’s al-Shabaab, the most notorious militant group in Africa, claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack.

Enjoying massive support from the United States and the African Union, the Somali government claims it has managed to push back Shabaab militants from key urban areas, including Mogadishu. However, there are doubts that the government could take over security after 2020 when the AU forces withdraw from Somalia, as Shabaab continues to wreak havoc across the Horn of Africa country.



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