After twelve hours of fighting, the Somali government forces managed to put an end to the siege of a hotel in the country`s capital, Mogadishu. The hotel has been under the illegitimate control of al-Shabab insurgents since Friday, when they have taken it.
Until now, 21 people have been declared dead and more are injured. The Somali troops which have entered the hotel in Mogadishu and fought against the al-Shabab militants were of United States military training. According to a member of the Mogadishu ambulance service, whose name is Hussein Ali, 28 people were injured after the battle. Yusuf Baribari has also been killed. He was the ambassador representing Somalia`s interests in Switzerland. Other diplomats were also present in the Mogadishu hotel. They escaped by leaping through the windows of the building.
The journalists who were covering the story and witnessed the battle reported that there were killing on both of the sides: the al-Shabab fighters as well as the Somali government forces.
The al-Shabab is an Islamist group in connection with al-Qaeda. Since 2006, the al-Shabab insurgents have been fighting against the government troops in Somalia. The Somali cabinet has the support of the United Nations. The activity of the al-Shabab has affected civilians as well numerous times.
What started the attack was the explosion of a car near the building. A suicide bomber activated the explosives of his car which was equipped with bombs outside the hotel.
A few years ago, government troops succeeded in driving the al-Shabab away from the towns of Somalia. Still, they are in control in numerous rural areas, mostly located in the southern part of the African state.
It is not an unusual habit for the al-Shabab to target the hotels of Mogadishu. Referring to the attack on the Maka al-Mukarama hotel, a spokesman representing the al-Shabab extremists affirmed that the main reason for the attack was the fact that many government officials prefer staying at this hotel.
He added that, from al-Shabab`s point of view, the Maka al-Mukarama was not a hotel, but a settlement of the government.
The reason why officials stay at the Maka al-Mukarama is that the hotel is located on the road which connects the palace of the president to the Mogadishu Airport.
Image Source: BBC