Somalia: Al-Shabaab attacks hotel in the capital Mogadishu

An attack by al-Shabaab on a Mogadishu hotel was underway Friday night, showing the ability of radical Islamists to continue striking in the Somali capital.

A guard passes over the Lido beach in the capital Mogadishu (illustration image) AFP - GUY PETERSON

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Al-Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it targeted a place frequented by the authorities, attacked "a hotel on Lido Beach" south of Mogadishu, the government said in a statement. "Security forces rescued many people from the building and the operation is still ongoing," he added.


I was near the Pearl Beach restaurant (on Lido Beach) when a loud explosion occurred in front of the building. I managed to flee but then there was heavy fire and security forces rushed into the area," witness Abdirahim Ali, a witness to the attack, told AFP.


The restaurant was full of people because it was recently renovated," said Yaasin Nur, another witness, who said he was "worried" about two of his colleagues who were on the scene and "no longer answer their phones".

In August 2020, al-Shabaab launched a major attack on the Elite, another hotel on Lido Beach, killing ten civilians and a policeman. It took security forces four hours to regain control of the facility.

"Total War"

Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab, which is calling for the establishment of Islamic law in the country, has been fighting the internationally backed federal government for more than fifteen years. Driven out of the country's main cities in 2011-2012, they remain firmly established in large rural areas.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud declared "all-out war" on them, and launched a military offensive in September, supported in particular by US airstrikes. But al-Shabaab continues to carry out bloody retaliatory attacks, underscoring its ability to strike in the heart of Somali cities and military installations.

(with AFP)

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  • Al-Shabaab
  • Somalia