At least 15 dead as Somalia’s security forces end 22-hour hotel siege

Somali security officers are seen at a section of Hotel Hayat, the scene of an al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group militant attack in Mogadishu, Somalia August 20, 2022. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s police said on Monday they had ended Al-Shabaab siege at an upscale hotel near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, in an operation that resulted in the death of at least 15 people.

Police spokesman Sadiq Dodishe told reporters late on Monday afternoon that Al-Shabaab gunmen killed 9 civilians and a soldier after besieging Villa Rosa, an upscale Hotel outside Somali president’s residence in the center of Mogadishu.

He said one of the attackers “blew himself up and five were shot dead by the security forces”, adding that 60 civilians had been rescued.

Gunfire cracked from the hotel as Turkish and US-trained Somali troops battled militants inside the compound for more than 22 hours, leading to a delay in a parliament session scheduled for Monday.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the assault, saying its fighters were able to fire on the president’s residence in Villa Somalia, which is located at a short distance from the Villa Rose Hotel.

The attack, which has turned the city’s most secure and heavily-fortified green-zone into a deserted war-zone, underscores Al-Qaeda affiliate’s ability to stage deadly attacks inside the government’s power base even as it faces a military offensive in two central regions.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was rushed to safety immediately after the attack on Sunday evening by African Union peacekeepers, attended Somalia International Investment Conference inside Halane base on Monday, which is home to a number of foreign diplomatic missions.

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