Somalia: four dead in the siege of a hotel attacked by Shebab

At least four people were killed during the siege of a Mogadishu hotel occupied since Sunday evening by Al-Shabaab fighters, a Somali security official told AFP on Monday.

“The terrorists are stuck in a room of the building and the security forces are about to put an end to the operation very quickly,” added Mohamed Dahir, without specifying who the four victims were.

“Several people were injured, including government officials,” added the head of security services.

Sporadic gunfire and explosions continued on Monday morning to ring out around the Villa Rose hotel, which is particularly frequented by senior officials and Somali parliamentarians.

Witnesses had described two strong explosions on Sunday evening, marking the start of the attack by Shebab on this hotel located in the Bondhere district, a few blocks from the headquarters of the Somali presidency, placed under high security.

All roads leading to the neighborhood were blocked by security forces, AFP correspondents noted.

Shebab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group that has been trying to overthrow Somalia’s central government for 15 years, claimed responsibility for the attack.

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