VIDEO UPDATE 1: Al Shabab launch deadly attack claims 15, hostages taken

muqdisho atackVIDEO UPDATE 1: Al Shabab launch deadly attack claims 15, hostages taken

Somalia’s Al Shabaab extremist group has launched an attack on a hotel in Mogadishu’s city center.

The attack began when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden truck outside the gates of Naso-Hablod One hotel before armed fighters stormed the hotel.

Ali Mohamud, a witness to the attack said the assailants fought their way inside and began shooting indiscriminately at guests. “They were shooting at everyone they could see. I escaped through the back door,” he said.

Police said that at least 15 people have been killed with as many as 25 others wounded. The attackers, armed with machine guns, sniper rifles and grenades have gained access to the roof and began engaging with security forces.

Reports from the scene indicate that the extremists have also taken an unknown number of hotel guests as hostages.

Al Shabab has claimed responsibility for the latest hotel attack.

“We attacked the hotel which was frequented by the apostate government members,” al Shabab military operations spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters, adding that the group’s fighters were inside the building.

This attack comes while Muslims are observing the holy month of Ramadan. Al Shabab has been known to step up attacks during this time, especially during the last 15 days.

On June 1, Al Shabab militants carried out a similar assault on the Ambassador Hotel in Mogadishu killing at least 16 people and wounding an additional 55.

Somali and AMISOM forces are currently fighting the extremist group in multiple areas across the country.

source hiraan

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