No less than 12 killed in Somalia lodge siege, intelligence officer says

MOGADISHU, Aug 20 (Reuters) – No less than 12 individuals have been killed in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu after al Qaeda-linked militarism attacked a lodge, seizing management in a siege that authorities are nonetheless battling to finish, an intelligence officer instructed Reuters on Saturday.

The attackers blasted their means into the Hayat Resort on Friday night with two automotive bombs earlier than opening fireplace. Somalia’s al Shabaab insurgents have claimed accountability. learn extra

“Up to now we now have confirmed 12 individuals, largely civilians, died,” Mohammed, an intelligence officer who solely gave one identify, instructed Reuters. “The operation is about to be concluded however it’s nonetheless occurring.”

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The detonations despatched large plumes of smoke over the busy junction on Friday night time, and the sound of gunfire nonetheless crackled throughout the capital by 0700 GMT on Saturday.

Sounds of explosions punctuated the night time as authorities forces tried to wrest management of the lodge again from the militarism, witnesses mentioned.

Giant sections of the lodge have been destroyed by the preventing, they mentioned.

Friday’s assault was the primary main assault since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took workplace in Might.

The al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group claimed accountability for the assault, based on a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, which screens jihadist group statements.

Al Shabaab has been preventing to topple the Somali authorities for greater than 10 years. It desires to ascertain its personal rule primarily based on a strict interpretation of Islamic regulation.

The Hayat Resort is a well-liked venue with lawmakers and different authorities officers. There was no instant data on whether or not any of them had been caught up within the siege.

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Reporting by Abdi Sheikh Writing by Duncan Miriri Enhancing by Sam Holmes and Frances Kerry

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.