At least 10 dead as gunmen storm hotel in Somali capital


MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — At least 10 people were killed in an attack by Islamic militants who stormed a hotel in the Somali capital on Friday night, police and eyewitnesses said.

Several other people were injured and security forces rescued many others, including children, from the scene of the attack at Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu, they said.

The attack began with explosions outside the hotel before gunmen entered the building.

Gunshots could still be heard early Saturday as security forces tried to contain the remaining gunmen, who were believed to have been locked in the hotel. It is not known how many activists stayed on the top floor of the hotel.

The hardline Islamist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest of its frequent attempts to hit locations often visited by government officials.

There was no immediate word on the identity of the victims.

“We were having tea near the hotel lobby when we heard the first explosion followed by gunshots. I immediately rushed to the hotel rooms on the ground floor and locked up,” said eyewitness Abdullahi Hussein told the AP by phone. “The militants went straight upstairs and started shooting. I was inside the room until security forces arrived and rescued me.

He said on his way to security he saw “several bodies lying on the floor outside the hotel reception”.


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