Deadly Somalia Hotel Siege Continues for Second Night

Security forces patrol near the Hayat Hotel after an attack by Al-Shabaab fighters in Mogadishu, Somalia. AP

Mogadishu, Somalia —  Somali security forces continue an operation aimed at ending a hotel siege in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, where they have been battling with al-Shabab militants for the past 24 hours after they detonated several explosive devices, security officials said.

The death toll from Friday’s assault on the Hayat Hotel, an upscale hotel frequented by government officials, elders and people from the diaspora community, has risen to at least 20, with more than 40 others injured, according to hospital sources.

A senior police official who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media told VOA that a number of heavily armed militants were still fighting with government soldiers inside the hotel premises Saturday night.

“The militants have been firing from parts of the hotel for the last 24 hours, with our troops engaging in an operation to flush them out of the hotel and end [the] siege,” the official said.

Elders among the dead

The official added that the fatalities include four assailants, in addition to the civilian victims. He said the number of militants still fighting inside the hotel is unknown.

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