Four killed in Somalia hotel siege: security agency

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least four people are dead in an attack by militants who laid siege to a hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu overnight, according to security sources.

At least four people were killed in an ongoing attack by Al-Shabaab militants who laid siege to a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu overnight, a security agency official told AFP on Monday.

Gunfire and explosions could still be heard more than 12 hours after the militants stormed the hotel near the presidential palace in a hail of bullets.

Mohamed Dahir, an official from the national security agency, told AFP the gunmen were holed up in a room at the Villa Rose surrounded by government forces.

“So far we have confirmed the death of four people”, he said, adding that others had been rescued from the besieged venue.

“Very soon the situation will return to normal.”

Government officials were among others injured, he added.

The Villa Rose is frequented by MPs and located in a secure central part of the capital just a few blocks from the office of Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Al-Shabaab, a militant group affiliated with Al-Qaeda that has been trying to overthrow Somalia’s central government for 15 years, claimed responsibility for the attack.

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