Al-Shabaab fighters attacked a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu with a barrage of gunshots and explosions. This was reported by security sources and witnesses, according to whom there are victims. The assault on the Hayat Hotel triggered a fierce firefight between the security forces and the jihadists who are still locked inside the building, security official Abdukadir Hassan said.
“A huge explosion occurred minutes before gunmen made their way into the hotel,” said Hassan. “So far we don’t have the details, but there are casualties and the security forces are now facing the enemy who has holed up inside the building,” he added.
Eyewitnesses reported that a second explosion occurred outside the hotel minutes after the first, causing casualties among rescuers, members of the security forces and civilians who rushed to the scene. The jihadist group linked to Al-Qaeda, which for about 15 years has been carrying out an armed insurrection against the fragile central government of Somalia, has claimed responsibility for the attack. “An Al-Shabaab strike group has forcibly entered the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu, the fighters are shooting blindly inside the hotel,” the group said in a brief statement on a pro website. Shabaab. According to some local media, the intelligence and police chiefs are among those injured in the assault on the hotel.