Militants Kill 15 People in Attack at Popular Somali Hotel
Photo via Twitter/SomaliNews
Islamist militants killed at least 15 people in an attack on a popular hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Sunday, the BBC reported.
The attack on the Sahafi Hotel was carried out with multiple car bombs, one of which generated a blast at the front gate allowing gunmen to enter the building and begin shooting.
The hotel is frequented by Somalia parliament members, one of whom was killed in the attack. The hotel's owner Abdirashid Ilgayte was also killed, per journalist Harun Maruf:
A majority of the victims were civilians, including hotel guests and staff.
The Islamist militant group al-Shabaab quickly claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, which lasted several hours, per Maruf:
BREAKING: Somali security forces "retake" control of Hotel Sahafi after 5 1/2 hours siege; officials say all #AlShabab attackers are dead.— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) November 1, 2015
The New York Times reports "for years the hotel has served as the gateway to one of the world's most dangerous countries for foreign journalists, aid workers and the rare brave businessman."
"Even in the hardest times the staff managed to provide clean rooms and good food," the Times stated. "Lobster was one of the house specialties, served alongside mountains of French fries."
"The Sahafi hotel is one of the more popular hotels in Mogadishu and the hotel of choice for journalists and UN workers who are the main foreign visitors in the city," states UniqHotels.com. "Staff will give you a warm welcome and you can choose a room from four floors of mostly empty rooms."
Sunday's attack remains under investigation.
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