Civilians killed in an attack against an hotel in Somalia

Somalia map Somalia map Photo by Pawel.gaul on iStock

31 January 2021

A car bomb crashed into a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, causing numerous civilian and bomber casualties.

On Sunday January 31 a Somali armed group attacked a hotel located in the city of Mogadishu. The evolution of the attack followed two phases: an initial launch of a vehicle full of explosives against the entrance of the hotel was followed by a shootout between police forces and armed men. The intervention of the security forces, which lasted several hours, was a response to the invasion of the hotel by the armed group, which opened fire on staff members and guests. The attack was claimed by the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, through its radio station, Andalus.

The clashes took place Sunday afternoon in the Afrik Hotel, located near the Mogadishu International Airport. Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa and for many years has been the stage of attacks often claimed by Al-Shabaab, an armed group linked to al-Qaeda. The spokesman of the Somali police, Sadiq Adan Ali, stressed that the attacks perpetrated by Al-Shabaab always follow the same modalities, and are part of a broader strategy of war against the government of Somalia, which is supported by the United Nations (UN) and peacekeeping troops of the African Union (AU). Nine people died in Sunday's incident, including four bombers, while ten others were injured. In addition, the Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble stated that among the victims there was also the ex military general, Mohamed Nur Galal.

In a statement issued on Monday, February 1, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in the country (UNSOM), James Swan, strongly denounced the attack and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.


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Author: Francesca Mencuccini; Editor: Carla Leonetti

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