Somalia: At Least Three Dead and 27 Injured in Al-Shabaab Attack on Hotel in Mogadishu

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The nation of Somalia remains in shock following a terrorist attack on the Syl Hotel, which occurred in Mogadishu overnight from Thursday to Friday. According to police reports, the toll stands at three dead and 27 injured, including 18 civilians. The assault lasted nearly 13 hours, marking the fifth attack on the Syl Hotel since 2015.

A squad of armed men breached the premises of the Syl Hotel around 9:45 p.m. local time on Thursday evening. The attack, claimed by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist group, lasted for 13 harrowing hours. The hotel, frequented by government officials and lawmakers, is situated near Villa Somalia, the heavily fortified compound housing the presidency and the offices of the Prime Minister.

As per the latest updates, three individuals lost their lives, and 27 sustained injuries. This attack marks at least the fifth targeting of this establishment since 2015. The most recent assault, in December 2019, resulted in five fatalities.

The United States Embassy in Mogadishu, through a statement, vehemently condemned the attack on the Syl Hotel. It reiterated the commitment of the United States to stand alongside Somalia in its fight against terrorism.

UN Somalia, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Somalia, also condemned this act of terrorism, emphasizing that it represents a violation of the sacred values of the Ramadan month. According to research conducted by the Hiraal Institute, Ramadan is a period during which Al-Shabaab typically intensifies its activities, aiming to bolster its ranks.

According to a security actor in the region, “the agreement protocols between Ethiopia and Somaliland and the defense pact between Mogadishu and Ankara have also provided fodder for Al-Shabaab’s propaganda machine. Some of their arguments resonate with certain segments of Somalis.”

In an interview with Al Jazeera in February, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud himself affirmed that the group was ramping up its recruitment efforts.

Soukaina Sghir

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