Extremist gunmen storm hotel in Somali capital, 8 killed

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 centre 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.

Al-Shabab frequently targets hotels and other public places often visited by government officials and foreigners. Al-Qaida’s East African affiliate is fighting to impose a strict version of Islam in this Horn of Africa nation.

In June, gunmen stormed the Nasa-Hablod hotel, killing at least 14 people. Two weeks before that, gunmen killed 15, including two members of parliament, at the Ambassador hotel.

Despite being ousted from most of its key strongholds, al-Shabab continues to carry out deadly guerrilla attacks across large parts of south and central Somalia.

Earlier this month, a bomb explosion at a restaurant in Mogadishu killed three, and a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at a security checkpoint near the international airport, killing at least three. That blast occurred a few hundred meters (yards) from the main base of the African Union peacekeeping mission.

Al-Shabab’s assaults have threatened this nation’s attempts to rebuild from decades of chaos. The presidential election, a key step toward recovery, already has been delayed several times because of security and other concerns.

___

Guled contributed from Hargeisa, Somalia.

Farah Abdi Warsameh And Abdi Guled, The Associated Press

Just Posted

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

CMTN First Nations Fine Arts program offers new advanced diploma

The 10-month program will focus on enhancing jewellery, sculpture and marketing skills

Terrace spawns new salmon art festival

This week’s featured artist: Casey Braam

Back in buisness: former Sears franchisees go it alone

Boota and Diljit Uppal’s new store opens in same location

Terrace minor softball wins big at provincials

U14 team won gold, U16 team nabbed silver in nail-biter finish, U12 placed fourth

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read