Somali forces free hotel from al-Shabaab militants, with at least nine dead
Somali security forces have stormed a hotel in Mogadishu, ending an occupation by al-Shabaab militants after a nearly daylong battle in which at least nine people were killed.
Gunfire crackled from inside the building as the special forces fought the militants more than 12 hours after the Islamist group stormed the building in the centre of the city.
The assault underscores the continuing ability of the al-Qaida-allied militants to stage deadly attacks with sometimes high casualties inside the capital even as President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s government presses an offensive against them.
“The operation at the hotel Rosa has been concluded,” Sadik Aden Ali, a police spokesperson said.
Ali said the militants had killed eight civilians and later added that one soldier had also died in the operation.
“The … terrorists killed nine people including a soldier,” he said.
Five soldiers were also injured in the gunfight, he said, adding that six al-Shabaab fighters had been involved in the attack on the hotel.
“One blew himself up and five were shot dead by the security forces,” Ali said, adding that 60 civilians had been rescued.