So­mali ho­tel at­tack ends, leaves dozens dead

Iran Daily - - International -

An at­tack on a ho­tel in Mo­gadishu ended on Sun­day af­ter 29 peo­ple were killed dur­ing a siege last­ing nearly 12 hours, po­lice said. The at­tack proved once again that ter­ror­ists can carry out deadly as­saults in the heart of the So­mali cap­i­tal, Reuters wrote.

Twin bomb­ings in Mo­gadishu two weeks ago killed more than 350 peo­ple, the worst such at­tacks in the coun­try’s his­tory.

The Al-shabab ter­ror group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for this week­end’s at­tack. The govern­ment re­sponded by sack­ing two of the coun­try’s top se­cu­rity of­fi­cials.

“So far I am sure 29 peo­ple died — the death toll may rise,” Ab­dul­lahi Nur, a po­lice of­fi­cer, said.

At least 12 of the dead were po­lice of­fi­cers, Nur said. And a woman, Madobe Nunow, was be­headed while her “three chil­dren were shot dead,” he said.

Three ter­ror­ists were cap­tured alive and two oth­ers blew them­selves up af­ter they were shot, po­lice said. Some ter­ror­ists may have dis­guised them­selves and es­caped with the res­i­dents who were res­cued from the ho­tel, one po­lice of­fi­cer said.

The at­tack be­gan around at 5 p.m. on Satur­day when a car bomb rammed the gates of Nasahablod Two ho­tel, which is close to the pres­i­den­tial palace, and de­stroyed the ho­tel’s de­fenses. Then gun­men stormed the build­ing.

The ex­plo­sion de­stroyed the front of the three-story ho­tel and dam­aged the ho­tel next door. Many So­mali of­fi­cials live in for­ti­fied ho­tels for the se­cu­rity they of­fer.

The govern­ment sacked the coun­try’s po­lice com­man­der, Ab­di­hakin Dahir Saiid, and the di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Se­cu­rity Agency, Ab­dul­lahi Mo­hamed Ali, a state­ment from the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice said.

Ab­dikadir Ab­di­rah­man, di­rec­tor of Amin am­bu­lances, com­plained the emer­gency ser­vice had been de­nied ac­cess to the blast sight.

“Af­ter the ho­tel op­er­a­tion was over, we wanted to trans­port the ca­su­al­ties ... all en­trances of the scene were blocked by se­cu­rity forces.”

Al-shabab said 40 peo­ple had been killed, in­clud­ing three of its ter­ror­ists who stormed the ho­tel. The govern­ment and Al-shabab typ­i­cally give dif­fer­ent fig­ures for vic­tims in such at­tacks.

The twin bomb­ings in Mo­gadishu on Oc­to­ber 14 killed at least 358 peo­ple, the worst such at­tacks in the coun­try’s his­tory, ig­nit­ing na­tion­wide out­rage. Al-shabab has not claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for that at­tack, but the method — a large truck bomb — is one it has of­ten used.

FEISAL OMAR/REUTERS A gen­eral view shows the af­ter­math of a bomb ex­plo­sion, at the gate of Naso Hablod Two Ho­tel in Ha­mar­weyne dis­trict of Mo­gadishu, So­ma­lia, on Oc­to­ber 28, 2017.

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