At least five people including three civilians were killed when jihadist militants stormed a hotel in Somalia’s capital, police said on Wednesday.
The attack on Tuesday evening, claimed by the Islamist group al-Shabaab, took place at a hotel in Mogadishu popular with politicians, army officers and diplomats.
“Our brave security forces ended the terror attack on SYL hotel rescuing more than 80 people” including government officials and hotel guests, police said in a statement.
“The number of the dead we have confirmed is five, among them two members of the security forces and three civilians. Nine other civilians and two soldiers were also wounded slightly”.
Several witnesses told AFP that the assailants were dressed in police uniform, which allowed them to approach the hotel without arousing suspicion.
They then opened fire and threw grenades, triggering an armed response from security forces guarding checkpoints leading to the nearby presidential palace.
After several hours of siege, police killed the two last attackers holed up inside the hotel, which has suffered three previous deadly attacks, all claimed by al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab posted a statement online saying it had carried out an operation “which happened as planned”, but gave no further details.
The police statement said the attack was carried out “by five people who have been sent by the terrorists to threaten the Somali public and all of them were killed”.