Extremist Gunmen Storm Hotel in Somali Capital, 8 Killed

 

Mogadishu, Somalia — At least eight people were dead and 14 injured Wednesday as Somali security forces ended a siege by extremist fighters who stormed a hotel in the capital, police said.

Four al-Shabab attackers were also killed in the attack on Dayah hotel, which is often frequented by government officials, said Col. Mohamoud Abdi, a senior police officer.

Survivors described chaotic scenes in which hotel residents hid under beds and others jumped out of windows of the four-story building to escape the attackers.

“They kicked down room doors and at some point posed themselves as rescue teams by telling those inside to come out (only) to kill them,” said Hassan Nur, a traditional Somali elder.

He said two well-known clan elders were among those killed.

The assault on the hotel started when a suicide car bomb exploded at its gates. A second explosion soon followed.

Dozens of people, including lawmakers, were thought to have been staying at the hotel at the time of the morning attack, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

A nearby shopping center caught fire and dozens of people helped save goods from the flames.

Somalia’s homegrown Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack via its online radio, Andalus, saying its fighters succeeded in entering the hotel.