15 people killed after al-Shabab attack in Mogadishu hotel

A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in Somalia. A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in Somalia. © UN Photo/Loey Felipe

1 November 2015
Islamist militants have killed 15 people while storming the Sahafi hotel, a popular hotel for Somalia’s members of parliament.

In the Somali capital Mogadishu, al-Shabab Islamist militants have attacked the Sahafi hotel, killing at least 15 people. The hotel is known for hosting Somalia’s members of parliament and is considered the most secure hotel in Somalia.

The attack began with two car bombings that blasted the Sahafi hotel. Trucks rigged with explosives were placed near the outer wall of the hotel which exploded after a suicide bomber rammed into them. After the explosions, al-Shabab gunmen entered the hotel.

At least 15 people were killed including one MP and a Somali general. The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that three Chinese embassy staff members were killed in the attack, as their embassy was located inside the hotel. The owner of the hotel, Gen Abdikarim Dhagabadan, was also killed. An additional 20 people were wounded.

An al-Shabab affiliated website confirmed that the attacks were committed by the Islamic militant group. The site also clarified that the attacks were purposefully carried out early in the morning to avoid civilian casualties, a clear change in the militants’ strategy. Most of al-Shabab attacks have taken place during the day or evening, often killing civilians who are in the targeted area.

This marked the third attack on Mogadishu hotels since July. The Al-Qaeda linked group is responsible for numerous attacks in and around Somalia, including the assault on Garissa University College in Kenya in April, which killed 150 people.   

On November 1, the United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the attacks in Mogadishu. The Security Council stressed the importance of bringing justice to the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of the attacks.

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