MOGADISHU – Police in Somalia say nine people, including three soldiers, were killed in Friday night’s extremist attack on a beachside hotel in the capital, Mogadishu.
The police statement said 10 other people were wounded while 84 people were rescued from the hourslong assault that ended early Saturday morning.
Al-Qaida’s East Africa affiliate, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack. The Somalia-based extremist group is known for carrying out attacks on hotels and other high-profile locations in Mogadishu, usually starting with a suicide bombing.
Witnesses had told The Associated Press that some people were trapped inside the Pearl Beach hotel, which is popular with government officials. The Lido Beach area is one of Mogadishu’s most popular.
Abdulkadir Adan, the director of Amin Ambulance service, said that “what occurred last night was quite tragic as it occurred in an unexpected setting and at an unexpected time.”
Mulki Osman told the AP she and her friends “instantly fled for cover” in the restaurant when they heard explosions and gunfire shortly before 8 p.m. Friday.