Somali forces end jihadist siege of Mogadishu hotel, 5 dead
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — At least five people have died in the attack on a Mogadishu hotel by Somalia’s al-Shabab rebels that was ended early Monday by security forces, according to the Somali police force.
The siege of the Afrik hotel ended after a gun battle that lasted for more than eight hours, and all four rebel attackers were killed, Somali police spokesman Sadiq Adan Ali said.
The rebels exploded hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades in their attempt to repulse the police forces who were closing in on them, he said.
In addition to those killed, 15 people were injured and have been hospitalized, health authorities said.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack through their Andalus radio and Somalimemo website.
Among the dead are Gen. Mohamed Nur Galal, a well-known retired army veteran who lived in the hotel. Another general and more than 100 civilians were rescued from the hotel, which is near the strategic K-4 junction on the road to the capital city’s international airport, said Ali.
The road leading to the airport has been reopened Monday morning and forces are cleaning of the destruction caused by the explosion of a vehicle at the entrance to the hotel which started the attack Sunday.
Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and the country’s prime minister condemned the attack and sent their condolences to the families of the deceased.
By HASSAN BARISE