Mon. May 27th, 2024

Somalia forces end one of the longest hotel sieges in Mogadishu

Security forces patrol near the Hayat Hotel after an attack by Al-Shabaab fighters in Mogadishu on August 20, 2022. (Hassan Ali ELMI / AFP)

By: Zakeriye Ahmed, Horn diplomat correspondent

Somalia’s government forces ended Mogadishu’s Hayat hotel’s siege last midnight, after more than 24 hours, Al-Qaeda’s terrorist-linked group Alshabab militants claimed responsibility for the Hayat hotel attack, per a statement the group’s affiliated media issued.

The attack started on Friday evening when Al-Shabab militants stormed the hotel after three explosions, making it the longest hotel siege in the history of Alshabab in Somalia.

At least 21 people died while 117 were wounded during the Hayat hotel’s attack, according to the country’s health ministry. On the other hand, the government forces rescued more than 106 people, including children, as the country’s police commander Gen. Abdi Hassan Hijar, told the media.

Al Shabaab removed several militants fighting in Hayat hotel, while others left inside the hotel to continue the operation, as one of its security officers told Al-Shabab’s affiliated media.

This attack has become the worst since Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took Somalia’s highest office in May 2022.

Alshabab’s military spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab who spoke group’s affiliated media said that the Hayat hotel attack responded to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s recent statement on a government plan to end the group and their presence in Somalia.

By Chala Dandessa

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