Death toll from Somalia hotel attack rises to 16, state minister killed

MOGADISHU– Death toll from Saturday’s attack by Al-Shabaab militants on a hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu has risen to 16 and a state minister was among those killed, an official said Sunday.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Security, Abdikamil Mo’ allim Shukri told Xinhua that more bodies had been found from the debris of the hotel, including the body of Bur’i Mohamed Hamza, the State Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office for Environment Affairs.

More than 30 others have been injured in the attack, he added.

Twin explosions rocked the Nasa-Hablod Hotel in the center of Mogadishu on Saturday afternoon and Al-Shabaab militants stormed the hotel, which is frequented by politicians.

Somalia’s security forces have retaken the hotel after gunfire, and a team is searching the debris to find out if there are more bodies.

Somalia’s Islamist group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the latest in a series of attacks by its militants on hotels in Mogadishu in recent years.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud has condemned the assault and vowed continued efforts to pacify the country.

“This coward attack was aimed at inflicting fear among Somalis and discourage them from supporting the government,” President Mohamoud said.

Al-Shabaab militants, fighting to topple the Somali government, frequently carry out deadly attacks in Mogadishu.

Early this month, at least 10 people were killed and dozens injured in an Al-Shabaab attack on another hotel in Mogadishu. PNA/Xinhua/