Al-Shabab militants blasted their way into a Mogadishu hotel on Friday and took up positions inside, killing at least nine people and exchanging fire with security forces seeking to recapture the facility, a Somali police official said. One survivor who made it safely outside the Maka Al-Mukarramah hotel in the Somali capital said the militants were killing anyone they could find inside. He did not give his name. The attack started when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car at the gate of the hotel. Gunmen then quickly moved in, Capt. Mohamed Hussein told The Associated Press from the scene of the attack.
All the attackers were killed and the situation is under control. The government’s special forces have managed to penetrate the building and are now in full control.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein
Al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremist group that has carried out many attacks in Somalia, claimed responsibility for the assault on the hotel, which is popular with Somali government officials and foreigners. It remained unclear who was being targeted by the militants and how many civilians were inside the hotel. Somalia has been trying to rebuild following years of political instability and civil strife since 1991, when the dictator Siad Barre was ousted from power.