Somalia’s government announced the end of a seven-hour deadly siege in the capital Mogadishu Sunday night, which left nine people dead.
Mohamed Nur Galal, a well-known retired general and former defense minister, was among those confirmed killed in the attack on the popular Hotel Afrik. The hotel, located along a strategic road linking downtown Mogadishu with the international airport, is frequented by politicians, lawmakers and senior civil servants.
Security forces were able to rescue dozens of people from the hotel during the siege. Militant group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and the country’s prime minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, sent condolences following Galal’s death. Both leaders urged Somali people to unite against the terrorist group of al-Shabab.
Police said all four al-Shabab militants who stormed Hotel Afrik were killed.
A car bomb exploded near the hotel early Sunday, beginning a shootout between militants and security forces.
Polce say al-Shabab members stormed the hotel and many of the people inside were rescued, including Somalia’s former state minister for defense, Yusuf Siad Indha-Adde.
A VOA reporter, Abdikafi Yusuf Aden, was also inside the hotel at the time and survived.
“There was confusion and thick smoke rose up after the blast occurred. People were jumping down over the wall as we ran for our lives,” Aden told VOA Somali.
Aden said he saw at least three people injured where he was hiding but was unable to confirm what happened outside or on the other side of the hotel.
9 Killed in Seven-Hour Siege of Mogadishu Hotel