Somali security forces ended a night-long operation after militants carried out twin attacks in the capital of Mogadishu, AP reported on Sunday. Attackers drove a car bomb into the Nasa-Hablod hotel on Saturday and then opened fire withing the hotel. At least 23 people were killed in the attack.
The armed forces regained control of the hotel, killed three of the attackers and arrested two of them, Captain Mohamed Hussein said, AP reported. Extremist group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack which involved two more blasts.
The Al Qaeda linked group said it chose this latest target as it was frequented by security officials and politicians, and decided to carry out the attacks at a time provincial leaders were meeting in Mogadishu to come up with a united strategy against the group, BBC reported.
“We targeted ministers and security officials who were inside the hotel,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s spokesperson, told Reuters. A police officer, Ali Nur, said most of the victims were security personnel.
On October 14, blasts in Mogadishu had killed at least 358 people. Al Shabaab did not claim the attacks, but are believed to be behind it.