WADOO!!NEWS: Gunmen raid Mogadishu hotel; at least 6 killed in hours-long attack
Gunmen sprayed people with bullets as they raided a hotel in Somalia’s capital late Friday afternoon, sparking a confrontation with security forces that continued into the evening, a witness and a police officer at the scene said.
At least six people have been killed in the attack at the Makka Al Mukarama hotel in Mogadishu, and security troops still were exchanging gunfire with the assailants Friday evening, police Capt. Ahmed Abdi said.
Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. An Al-Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab, said the group’s fighters were conducting an operation against what he said are spies and government officials.
The attack started around 5 p.m. when a car bomb exploded at the hotel’s entrance, according to witness Aden Hussein, who said he was meters away from the hotel when the blast happened.
Gunmen then went inside the hotel, shooting people, Hussein said.
One of the attackers, wearing a belt with explosives, blew himself up inside the hotel, causing an undetermined number of casualties, Abdi said.
The hotel, which is along a highway leading to the country’s presidential palace, is popular with lawmakers, journalists and business people.
Al-Shabaab has been active in Somalia for years. Initially its goal was implementing a stricter form of Islamic law, or Sharia, by warring against the Somali government. It has since shifted its focus to launching terror attacks in Somalia and beyond.