More Than 20 People Killed as Somali Forces End Siege of Restaurant

SomaliaViolence-0da59

Source: Time

Al-Shabab, the Islamic extremist group, claimed responsibility for the attack
(MOGADISHU, Somalia) — Somalia’s security forces ended a deadly siege of a beachfront restaurant in the capital, with more than 20 people killed in the attack, a police official said Friday.

The security forces took control of the restaurant just before dawn, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein, speaking from the scene of the attack in Mogadishu.

It was not clear whether Hussein’s report of more than 20 killed included the assailants.

Blasts and bursts of gunfire could be heard as Somali special forces went from room to room pursuing the al-Shabab gunmen who were holed up inside the restaurant.

Hussein said the security forces rescued many people who had been trapped inside the restaurant’s hall, where a party was taking place when the attack started on Thursday.

Witnesses said that gunmen shouted “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great,” and entered the restaurant from the direction of the beach as clients, sitting behind razor wire, watched the seashore.

“They randomly fired at people sitting near the beach before entering the restaurant,” said witness Ahmed Nur, who was strolling along the shoreline when the attack happened.

Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, in a broadcast on its online radio late Thursday.

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