MOGADISHU, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Security forces in the Somali capital fought for several hours on Sunday before clearing a hotel of Islamist al Shabaab gunmen who had stormed the building after two bombs ripped into it, police and witnesses said. At least 13 people were killed.
Al Shabaab, which has frequently launched attacks in Mogadishu in its bid to topple the Western-backed government, said it was behind the assault on the Sahafi hotel, where government officials and lawmakers stay.
“Mujahideen (fighters) entered and took over Sahafi hotel where enemies lived,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters.
The incident mirrored tactics used before by al Shabaab, in which it detonates bombs to break through security at targets and then sends in fighters.