Mogadishu [Somalia], Aug 17 (ANI): Somali forces on Sunday ended a four-hour siege by Al-Shabaab terrorists at the beachfront Elite Hotel, after they launched an assault at the facility following a car explosion.
The last of the four Al-Shabaab terrorists, who stormed into the beachfront hotel, was killed by the forces. The death toll is presently at 10, including a soldier and two officials with the information and defence ministries, CNN reported.
"Somali special forces end a four hours-long deadly siege at Elite hotel in Mogadishu after killing the last attacker," government spokesperson Ismail Mukhtar said on Twitter on late Sunday.
Dozens of others have been injured, according to hospital sources.
Mukhtar and police confirmed that four terrorists were involved in the attack.
As many as 205 people were rescued after the siege ended at 10 pm (local time), Mukhtar added.
The attack began when a car bomb exploded at the gates of the Elite Hotel and the terrorists launched an assault inside the premises. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued through its mouthpiece channel, Radio Andalus.
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo condemned the "heinous and cowardly" terror attack and expressed his condolences to the victims of the attack.
"The main purpose of the ambush attacks by the terrorists is to discourage the Somali people who are recovering from difficult circumstances. It is a fact that their plan is to harm every Somali through some misguided Somali youth," Farmajo said in a statement.
The President wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
Somalia's information ministry confirmed the death of Abdirisak Abdi, a ministry official, according to CNN.
The Elite Hotel is situated in a heavily-guarded area and is frequented regularly by the locals and foreigners.
Al-Shabaab, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda, frequently carries out attacks in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia. The group had targetted the SYL hotel in the Somali capital last year, resulting in a seven-hour battle. (ANI)
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.