At Least Four Dead in Somalia's Mogadishu Terrorist Hotel Siege, Reports Say
10:39 GMT 28.11.2022 (Updated: 10:41 GMT 28.11.2022)
© AP Photo / Farah Abdi WarsamehFILE---In this file photo of Thursday, Feb.17, 2011, Hundreds of newly trained Shabaab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18 km south of Mogadishu, Somalia
© AP Photo / Farah Abdi Warsameh
The incident comes as part of a series of attacks by a terrorist group which recently killed more than 100 people in the capital Mogadishu car bombings on 29 October and claimed responsibility for two other deadly hotel attacks over the past few months.
At least four people were killed after Al-Shabaab* militants invaded the Villa Rose hotel in the country's capital on Sunday, according to media reports, citing a local security official. The latter added that "several other people were wounded including government officials" while the venue - a few blocks from the presidential office and a popular rendezvous for government officials - was under siege.
As of Monday morning, Somalia's security forces were engaged in a firefight with the terrorists. According to police spokesman Sadik Dudishe, security officers managed to rescue a number of civilians and officials although further details have yet to be released.
"The terrorist gunmen are trapped inside a room in the building and the security forces are about to end the siege very soon... so far we have confirmed the death of four people," a security official is quoted as saying.
Local media reported that witnesses heard two explosions and gunfire and saw people fleeing in the Bondhere district which is where the hotel is. Several security representatives reportedly said that the extremist attackers were wearing “suicide” vests.
Aden Aw Hirsi, Somalia's minister for the environment, wrote on Twitter that he was safe after a “terrorist explosion targeted my residence” at Villa Rose.
27 November 2022, 20:53 GMT
Terrorists have intensified attacks in Somalia since the country's government which was elected in May declared an "all-out war" against Al-Shabaab.
On 29 October, at least 121 people were killed and 333 injured after two car bombs blew up in Mogadishu followed by gunfire in the deadliest terrorist attack in the Horn of Africa for five years.
In late August, at least 21 deaths resulted from a 30-hour siege on the Hayat Hotel in Somalia's capital.
Al-Shabaab is a militant group affiliated with Al-Qaeda that has been fighting the Mogadishu government for about 15 years, seeking to overthrow it and establish an Islamist regime in the country.
In 2011, the extremist forces were driven out of Mogadishu by the peacekeeping African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), but remain active in the countryside. In 2022, AMISOM was replaced with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), a 20,000-strong transition and drawdown military mission.
*Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda are terrorist organizations banned in Russia and other countries.