Somali forces ended a deadly 30-hour siege of a hotel in the country’s capital with security personnel clearing explosives planted by al-Shabab fighters in the damaged building. The area surrounding the hotel was quiet and the roads were blocked by a heavy security presence on Sunday as emergency workers and bomb disposal experts sought to clear the premises of any explosives and remove rubble. The hotel building sustained heavy damage during the gunfight between Somali forces and the attackers. It caused some parts of it to collapse, leaving many people frantically searching for their loved ones who were inside when the siege began. The Mogadishu attack began when fighters from the al-Shabab armed group unleashed a gun-and-bomb assault on the popular Hayat Hotel on Friday evening. Three attackers were shot dead during the military operation to end the siege, said Hassan, a police captain who only gave one name. A fourth was shot and killed in the area on Sunday morning as he attempted to melt into the civilian population, Hassan said, adding the exact number of attackers was still unclear. Friday’s attack at the Hayat, a hotel popular with lawmakers and other government officials, was the first major incident since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May, and government forces stepped up operations against al-Shabab.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA