Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Somalia: 4 dead in the siege of a hotel attacked by Shebabs

Headquarters of a hotel in Mogadishu   -  
Copyright © africanews


Sporadic gunfire and explosions continued on Monday (November 28) morning around the Villa Rose Hotel, a popular venue for senior government officials and parliamentarians located a few blocks from the offices of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud.

At least four people were killed during the siege, a Somali security official said Monday.

"The terrorists are trapped in a room in the building and the security forces are about to end the operation very quickly. Several people were injured, including government officials," Mohamed Dahir added, without specifying who the four victims were.

Witnesses had described two loud explosions on Sunday evening, marking the start of the Shebab attack on the hotel, which is located in the Bondhere district and is normally heavily secured.

On its website, the Villa Rose is described as "the safest accommodation in Mogadishu", with metal detectors and a high wall.

"A group of Al-Shabaab fighters attacked a hotel in Bondhere district this evening (and) security forces are engaged to eliminate them," national police spokesman Sadik Dudishe said in a statement on Sunday.

By Sunday evening, many civilians and politicians had been rescued and evacuated from the area.

"I was near the Villa Rose when two loud explosions shook the hotel. There was heavy gunfire. The area was cordoned off and I saw people fleeing," said a witness, Aadan Hussein. Mogadishu.

all-out war

The Shebab, an al-Qaida-affiliated group that has been trying to overthrow Somalia's central government for 15 years, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The African Union Force in Somalia (Atmis) condemned the attack and "commended" on Twitter "the Somali security forces for their swift response to prevent further casualties and property damage".

This new attack comes as the Somali president, elected in May, has decided to commit to a three-month "total war" against the Shebab.

The Somali army, supported by local clans, the Atmis, and with the support of American air strikes, has regained control of the province of Hiran and large areas of Middle Shabelle, in the centre of the country.

But the insurgents retaliated with a series of bloody attacks, underlining their ability to strike at the heart of Somali towns and military installations.

On 29 October, two cars packed with explosives exploded within minutes of each other in Mogadishu, killing 121 people and injuring 333 others. It was the deadliest attack in five years in the fragile Horn of Africa country.

A triple bombing in the central city of Beledweyne also killed 30 people, including local officials, in early October, and at least 21 guests at a Mogadishu hotel were killed during a 30-hour siege in August.

According to the UN, at least 613 civilians have already been killed and 948 injured in violence this year in Somalia, mostly caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) attributed to Al-Shabaab. The highest figures since 2017, up by more than 30% from 2021.

View more