| 11 December 2023, Monday |

At least 12 killed as Somalia hotel siege enters second day

An intelligence officer claimed on Saturday that al Qaeda-linked terrorists assaulted a hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, capturing captives who police were still struggling to release 24 hours later.

The assailants detonated two vehicle explosives inside the Hayat Hotel on Friday evening before starting fire. Al Shabaab rebels in Somalia claimed responsibility.

According to Mohammed, the gunmen were holding an unknown number of hostages on the second level of the building, preventing officials from utilizing heavier weaponry.

He further said that they had blown out the staircases to make it more difficult to access specific floors.

On Saturday evening, as the siege entered its second day, officials had controlled 95% of the building, according to Somali National Television, the state broadcaster. The broadcaster did not provide an up-to-date count of victims.

Those battling the militants inside the hotel include Gaashan, a paramilitary force specializing in counterinsurgency, a former security official familiar with the force told Reuters.

  • Reuters