At least 19 civilians killed in hotel attack in Somalia's capital

Frederick Owens
June 20, 2017

In a separate incident later in the day, at least two soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb.

In this image taken from video footage, an ambulance is seen near the scene of an attack in a restaurant in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

The attack started Wednesday evening with an explosion from a vehicle bomb that detonated outside two restaurants, Pizza House and Posh Treats, causing massive damage.

Somali security forces have ended a 10-hour-long siege by al-Shabaab that followed a suicide auto blast in Mogadishu that killed at least 19 people injured more than 20 others.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu.

"The suicide bomber drove a auto loaded with explosives into the building", said Ali Mohamed, a police official, identifying the target as the Posh Treats restaurant.

Abdi Bashir told Reuters the Somali security forces took control of the restaurant at midnight after the gunmen held hostages inside for several hours.

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Police captain Mohamed Hussein said numerous victims were killed at point-blank range after the attackers hunted them down.

Mohamed Hussein says the dead include a Syrian man.

This was the first major attack by the group this Ramadan and the area - which was said to be one of the few nightspots for Somalis - has been drastically changed following the attack. A lot of them were still inside relaxing.

"We heard a huge explosion which hit Pizza House and Posh House". The ongoing security operation under the stabilization campaign in Mogadishu and others targeting Al-Shabaab camps have left the militants severely weakened.

"The operation ended now, 18 people killed and 19 others injured in this terrorist attack, investigations is going on at moment", he said.

Aside from these recent attacks, Somalia has been bombarded by various conflicts since the long-serving ruler Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who was elected into office earlier this year, promised to defeat al-Shabaab.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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