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Mogadishu Shaken After Deadly Weekend Blast

The death toll from Sunday’s attack and subsequent hours-long siege at a beachfront hotel in Somalia has risen to at least 16. The al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack. Officials and witnesses told VOA Somali that just before 6 p.m. local time, a suicide car bomb exploded outside the Elite Hotel at Mogadishu’s popular Lido Beach. Moments later four armed gunmen stormed the hotel. Security forces arrived at the scene immediately after the attack began and took over from hotel guards the responsibility for ousting the attackers. Ismail Mukhtar, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Information, said all four of the attackers who stormed the hotel were shot dead. Troops rescued more than 200 people from the hotel, including the owner, Abdullahi Mohamed Nur, a lawmaker and former minister.  At least 18 people were injured. Over the past two months attacks by the jihadist group have increased in the capital. Last week a shootout between jailed al-Shabab members and security officers at a prison claimed at least 20 lives. The militants – who had managed to obtain weapons – had tried to escape from a heavily guarded prison in Mogadishu.


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