Gun battle rages between Al Shabaab and Somali troops after hotel attack

Official estimates provided to the media on Friday morning counted about half as many dead and injured, but said the numbers were likely to rise, especially since the area around the hotel was packed with diners and shoppers when the unusual nighttime attack began.

Security sources said a truck carrying several barrels of explosives rammed on to the building, detonating the explosives before the gunmen sang in to action, with initial reports indicating that t it was the work of Al-Shabab fighters.

The blast hit the Maka Al-Mukarama hotel on Thursday evening.

"There are still some armed men inside a building", police officer Ibrahim Mohamed said, amid sporadic bursts of gunfire and grenade explosions.

Somali Islamist militants held civilian hostages during their attack on a hotel in the capital of Mogadishu, state-run Somali News Agency quoted the minister of information on Friday as saying.

"We targeted and stormed Hotel Maka Al Mukaram".

The number of killed in the vehicle bomb blast and subsequent shooting in Mogadishu has risen to 25, another 35 were injured, Mareeg news outlet reported Friday.

Despite years of large-scale military assistance from neighboring African countries and the United States, Somalia's army has struggled to prevent al-Shabab's almost relentless attacks in Mogadishu and around the country.

Dozens of cars were on fire along Maka Almukarramah Road, which is in a busy part of Mogadishu where restaurants and hotels are located.

Al-Shabaab fighters were pushed out of Somalia's capital in 2011, and subsequently from other towns and cities, by African Union troops.

The US military has been targeting Al Shabab with aerial strikes.

Ali said he did not believe the militants were inside the hotel.

While the USA statement said the airstrikes are meant to degrade al-Shabab's ability to coordinate attacks against the Somali people, the carnage showed that Africa's deadliest Islamic extremist group still has the ability to strike in the heart of the capital.

The US has dramatically increased airstrikes against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, Africa's deadliest extremist group, since President Donald Trump took office. And in January this year, 14 people were killed in a Shabaab-claimed attack on a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi.

The U.S. military is one of several security actors in Somalia, along with a multinational African Union mission and troops from Kenya and Ethiopia.


Popular
  • Wetter By Sunday As Cold Front Brings Return Of Winter By Monday

    Wetter By Sunday As Cold Front Brings Return Of Winter By Monday

    Several inches of snow accumulation are expected Sunday , March 3 in the tri-state, according to the National Weather Service . Winter Storm Scott is expected to roar through the interior of the Northeastern part of the USA from Sunday to Monday .
    Britain’s Labour Party Leader Backs Brexit Referendum

    Britain’s Labour Party Leader Backs Brexit Referendum

    The opposition Labour party moved this week to support a second referendum on Britain's European Union membership. Labour's decision to support a second referendum will cost the party dearly in our heartlands and marginal seats.
    Assam Hooch Tragedy: 66 Tea Garden Workers Dead After Consuming Spurious Liquor

    Assam Hooch Tragedy: 66 Tea Garden Workers Dead After Consuming Spurious Liquor

    Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condemned the incident and sent a team to the district to take stock of the situation. Bootleggers have been known to spike their product with methanol, a toxic substance used in antifreeze, to boost potency.
  • Khamenei Has Reportedly Told Zarif Not To Resign

    Khamenei Has Reportedly Told Zarif Not To Resign

    The Guard's website later quoted Soleimani as offering his support to the foreign minister. Good riddance", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
    Lady Gaga and Fiancé Christian Carino End Engagement

    Lady Gaga and Fiancé Christian Carino End Engagement

    Her nominations include best actress and best original song for Shallow, which won two Grammys and a Golden Globe . On Tuesday, the A Star Is Born GRAMMY-winner's rep confirmed to People that the couple have ended their engagement.
    Stephen Miller: 'Trump will protect his national emergency declaration'

    Stephen Miller: 'Trump will protect his national emergency declaration'

    But it is unclear whether there are enough of them to vote against the president (and his base) to override a veto. California and other states are expected to sue the Trump administration to block Trump's move.
  • Harper, Phillies agree to $330M, 13-year deal

    Harper, Phillies agree to $330M, 13-year deal

    Harper will see his former team very early in the 2019 season as the Phillies will play the Nationals in Washington on April 2. All of that after they'd already signed Andrew McCutchen and upgraded the shortstop position by trading for Jean Segura .
    Khloé's BFF confirms Tristan and Jordyn Woods affair

    Khloé's BFF confirms Tristan and Jordyn Woods affair

    At the time of writing this, neither Woods or Kylie have weighed in on the situation. "You could tell they were into each other". As for Kylie , the reality star is torn apart by the news of her best friend and her sister's boyfriend's making out rumours.
    Ravens to trade Flacco to Broncos

    Ravens to trade Flacco to Broncos

    But alas, the Broncos have made a trade which can't be official until March 13th, when the new league year begins for the NFL. In 2020, the cap number climbs to $28.250 million, though it would be just $8 million in cap hit if he were to be released.
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan in Premier league team of the week

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan in Premier league team of the week

    The home side wasn't as generous at the other end of the pitch as they took the lead less than a minute later. Currently, Arsenal sits 4th with 53 points in the Premier League table.
    R. Kelly Hits Up McDonald's After Finally Making Bail

    R. Kelly Hits Up McDonald's After Finally Making Bail

    The details are graphic and Avenatti alleges that in the tape R Kelly can be heard telling the minor various instructions. The woman, who was 24, was able to pull away, but Kelly persisted in humiliating and assaulting her, the documents said.
    National Football League  notebook: Patriots owner Kraft faces solicitation charges

    National Football League notebook: Patriots owner Kraft faces solicitation charges

    The owner of Orchids of Asia Day Spa, 58-year-old Hua Zhang, was arrested Tuesday on 29 prostitution and related charges. Kraft's wife of many decades, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011 of ovarian cancer.

CONNECT