MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) –At least 20 people have been killed in Mogadishu hotel attack after militants stormed Elite Hotel in the city’s Liido beach, on Sunday afternoon.
A vehicle laden with explosives was rammed into the back of the beachfront Elite Hotel, after which Al-Shabaab gunmen stormed the building and took hostages, witnesses said.
Security forces said they have regained control of the hotel, killing all Al-Shabaab gunmen fighting inside the compound.
Officials earlier told media that the attackers took a number of people hostage, adding that death toll was likely to rise.
More than 20 people are confirmed to have been killed in the gun and bomb attack on Mogadishu’s Elite Hotel, with more than 35 others wounded.
The recently built hotel is owned by an MP and is popular with Somali politicians. The privately-owned hotel has been one of the most heavily guarded facilities in Mogadishu, according to journalists.
In a statement posted online, the Al-Shabaab armed group said: “The Mujahideen launched an operation consisting of martyrdom and a commando raid against a hotel belonging to an MP from the apostate government [Somali government].”
Among the dead are reported to be senior officials from the Ministries of Information and Defense.
Reports earlier said the Minister of Public works Ahmed Washington was among the wounded, but the government has not yet commented on the news.
Al-Shabaab has recently intensified its insurgency campaign against the western-backed federal government and allied foreign troops.
Last week, the group carried out a massive bombing attack in Mogadishu targeting an army base in which more than 25 soldiers were killed. It also claimed responsibility for at least 10 simultaneous explosions that targeted police stations and district headquarters in the city on Friday evening.
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