At Least 16 Dead in Somalia Terror Attack

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At least 16 people were killed in a bombing attack at the Elite Hotel in Lido beach in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Sunday.

According to VOA Somalia, a suicide car bomb exploded outside the popular Lido Beach moments before four armed gunmen stormed the hotel.

The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The mujahideen have launched an operation consisting of martyrdom [suicide bombing] and a commando raid against a hotel belonging to an MP from the apostate group [Somali government],” a message posted online from the group read.

Following the attack, security forces sealed off entry to the hotel and exchanged fire with the gunmen inside.

Four hours later, government spokesman Ismael Mukhtaar Omar announced that the siege had ended and that the four gunmen involved had all been killed.

Somalia has been engulfed in civil war since the 1991 overthrow of then-President Siad Barre’s military regime. The fighting eventually led to the rise of al-Shabab. The group was ultimately pushed out of the country in 2011 but continues to wage war against the government.

Last week, several people were killed in a shootout between jailed militant Islamists and security officers at a heavily guarded prison in Mogadishu.

Terrorist attacks are a regular occurrence in the war-torn nation and neighboring countries. Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has also carried out attacks in Kenya and Uganda as retribution for their military deployments in Somalia as part of a regional peacekeeping mission.

The African Union peacekeeping operation has been active in Somalia since 2007.

Originally posted 2020-08-21 13:20:01.

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