Dozens of people have been shot dead in an al-Shabaab attack on a popular beach hotel in Mogadishu. More than 80 guests could be rescued – after a six-hour siege.
At least nine people have been killed in an attack on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu. According to the broadcaster SNTV, security forces ended the six-hour siege of the Hotel Pearl Beach on Saturday night. The attackers were shot.
According to the police, 84 people were rescued from the building. Six civilians and three security forces are said to be among the dead, and ten people were injured.
Again and again attacks on hotels
The radical Islamic al-Shabaab militia, which is allied with al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack. The Islamists have been trying to overthrow the government in the East African country since 2006 and have repeatedly attacked hotels and other facilities in Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab controls large parts of Somalia, but was pushed back by army counter-offensives last year. However, the Islamists remain capable of launching heavy attacks on government, commercial and military targets. In late May, their fighters attacked a Ugandan peacekeeping base 130 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu, killing 54 soldiers.
In a report to the UN Security Council in February, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said 2022 was the year with the highest number of civilian deaths in Somalia since 2017.
Children die after a dud explodes
Earlier, at least 27 people were killed in a dud explosion 120 kilometers south of Mogadishu. Most of the fatalities are children, the Reuters news agency reported, citing a spokesman for the authorities. 53 other people were injured.