Around 20 people have been killed by Al-Shabab fighters after they stormed and occupied the Maka al-Mukarama Hotel in the Somalian capital city.
Somalia’s ambassador to Switzerland was among the government officials killed in the fighting, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said.
The attack started with a suicide car bombing at the gate of the hotel followed by gunmen who shot their way past the hotel’s security guards.
Somalia’s US trained special forces” Gaashaan” managed to kill all the attackers after hours of battle in the hotel according to reports.
Gaashaan (the Shield) training regimen includes counter-insurgency, counter-terror operation and executive-protecting, with an emphasis on quick reaction in an urban environment.
The soldiers are also equipped with guns with night-vision scopes.
Confirming the attack, spokesman for Al-Shabab, Sheikh Ali Mahamud Rage, said in an statement published online that some of the group’s fighters had died in the siege.
Al-Shabab, or “the Youth,” is a jihadist group that seeks to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state in Somalia and the rest of the horn of Africa.
The United States praises the Somali forces for their response to this terrorist attack.
“The US stands with the Somali people and their government as they bring stability, security, and prosperity to all Somalis.
We will not be swayed by cowardly terrorist attacks.” said Maria Harf from the Department of State.