Nearly 30 dead after insurgents attack Mogadishu hotel

Islamist attacks on a beach hotel and a restaurant in Somalia's capital Mogadishu have claimed 28 lives, police said Friday, marking a rise in the previously reported death toll of 20.

The fatalities included six attackers, police representative Ahmed Aloley said.

One of the attackers was captured alive. It was not clear if he is the suspected mastermind behind the attacks, whose arrest was announced by Security Minister Abdirisak Omar earlier on Friday.

The Islamist group al-Shabaab claimed the attacks on pro-insurgent radio Andalus.

Thursday's attacks started when a car laden with explosives rammed into hotel Beach View on Lido beach.

Insurgents then opened fire at the hotel, while another suicide bombing hit a nearby seafood restaurant.

Omar said the victims included women and children.

Several hostages, including journalists, government officials and beach visitors, were freed during a siege of the hotel by the insurgents.

"Our security forces ended a siege on Lido Seafood restaurant and the nearby hotel Beach View, with many people ... rescued and evacuated from the targeted buildings by a well-trained Somali counter-terrorism unit," security official Mohamed Hassan said.

Lido beach hotels and restaurants are popular with government officials and entrepreneurs.

Somalia's nearly decade-long battle with al-Shabaab has claimed thousands of lives.

Last week, al-Shabaab militants attacked Kenyan peacekeepers at an African Union military base in the southern Somali village of El-Ade.

The terrorist group claimed to have killed 100 Kenyan soldiers.

Last update: Fri, 22/01/2016 - 12:53

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