Monday January 30, 2023

Eight civilians dead as Somalia hotel siege ends

November 29, 2022

MOGADISHU: Somali security forces have ended an hours-long siege by Al-Shabaab militants who stormed a popular hotel in the capital Mogadishu overnight, killing eight civilians, the national police spokesman said on Monday.

The attack by the al-Qaeda-linked insurgents began around 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Sunday in a hail of gunfire and explosions, as they besieged the Villa Rose hotel which is frequented by parliamentarians and other government officials.

Around 21 hours after the attack started, Sadik Dudishe, a spokesman for the national police, told reporters “the clearance operation in the Villa Rose hotel has ended.” The jihadists “killed eight civilians who stayed in the hotel and the security forces succeeded in rescuing about 60 civilians, no one among the civilians was wounded,” he added. One member of the security forces also died in the operation, he said.

The Villa Rose is located in a “secure” central part of the capital just a few blocks from the office of Somalia´s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, raising questions about how the militants were able to evade the numerous checkpoints in the area.