Bodies of gunmen who stormed Villa Rays Hotel recovered
Somali Police and cleaners have on Thursday recovered bodies of five gunmen who attacked Villa Rays Hotel who were gunned down by security forces.
Somali police announced that the country’s security forces ended a more than 20-hours-long al-Shabab siege on a popular hotel in the capital, Mogadishu. Police said eight civilians were killed during the attack.
Officials from Bondhere and Warta Nabada Districts have been tasked with cleaning the mess of the devastating incident.
The hotel, located near the country’s heavily fortified presidential palace, was attacked by al-Shabab fighters who started the assault with a suicide bombing.
The Villa Rays hotel is frequented by Somali government senior officials, including ministers, lawmakers and other security officials.
The group intensified its attacks after Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected in May this year and announced a “total war” against the militants.
Somali security forces rescued more than 60 civilians from the hotel that is heavily guarded.
The hotel is not far from the presidential palace, Villa Somalia, in one of the most protected parts of central Mogadishu.
A successful attack near the seat of the federal government is likely to instill deep fear among residents of the seaside capital that has long been prone to attacks by militants.
Such militant attacks are common in Mogadishu and other parts of the Horn of Africa nation.
The latest attack comes amid a new, high-profile offensive by the Somali government against al-Shabab, which still controls large parts of central and southern Somalia.
Extremist fighters loyal to the group have responded by killing prominent clan leaders in an apparent effort to dissuade support for the government offensive, and attacks on public places frequented by government officials and others persist.
Hotels and restaurants are frequently targeted, as are military bases for government troops and foreign peacekeepers.
Last month at least 120 people were killed in two car bombings at a busy junction in Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab carried out that attack, the deadliest since a similar attack at the same spot killed more than 500 people five years ago.
Al-Shabab opposes Somalia’s federal government, which is backed by African Union peacekeepers, and seeks to take power and enforce a strict version of Sharia law.