News / Africa

More Than 30 Killed in Mogadishu Hotel Attack

Somalia's al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group has taken responsibility for a suicide attack on a hotel in Mogadishu that has killed more than 30 people, including seven parliament members.

Al-Shabab spokesman, Ali Mohamud Rage, says members of the group's "special forces" targeted Somali parliament members residing in Muna Hotel in Mogadishu's government-controlled Hamarweyne district.

Rage says al-Shabab fighters were able to easily enter the hotel compound, located near the presidential palace. He claims almost all of the parliament members in the hotel were killed.

It is not known how many lawmakers were inside. But Somalia's Transitional Federal Government says six lawmakers and two government officials were killed during the attack. Reports say another lawmaker subsequently died of wounds in the hospital.

Witnesses tell VOA that three gunmen, dressed as government security forces, entered the hotel by car after killing two security guards. The gunmen then went door-to-door, shooting indiscriminately.

Government security forces and African Union peacekeeping troops, known as AMISOM, surrounded the building and engaged in an hour-long battle with the militants.  Witnesses say when the gunmen ran out of ammunition, two of the men detonated explosives-laden suicide vests.

The Somali government initially said that its security forces had captured one of the three gunmen. But later, it issued a statement saying that only two men had stormed the hotel. The government says both men died in the suicide bombing.

In addition to the lawmakers and government officials, more than two dozen others, including civilians and several government troops, were killed. The director of a local community radio station reportedly died after being struck by a stray bullet as he watched the battle from a nearby rooftop.

Tuesday's attack follows al-Shabab's warning that it is planning a "massive war" against African Union troops in Mogadishu. About 6,000 soldiers from Uganda and Burundi make up the peacekeeping force, which arrived in 2007 with a mandate to protect the U.N.-backed government and key installations.  

Three years of fighting between peacekeepers and Islamist insurgents have caused thousands of civilian deaths and prompted hundreds of thousands of others to flee Mogadishu.

Despite repeated demands by al-Shabab to withdraw the peacekeeping force, Uganda is believed to have sent hundreds of reinforcements to the Somali capital in recent days.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for dual suicide attacks on July 11 in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, which the militants said were in retaliation for the country's military involvement in Somalia. The extremist group has also threatened to attack Burundi.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More