An attack took place on Sunday 31 January in Mogadishu. It targeted a hotel in the centre of the capital, not far from the international airport. It was claimed by Islamist Shebabs. Explosions and gunfire were heard for several hours. A still provisional toll of at least 3 dead and 6 wounded is reported.
A car bomb exploded in front of the Afrik Hotel at about 5 pm. The hotel is located near Kilometre 4, and is frequented by officials and security forces, among others. Armed men then entered the building. The shebabs quickly claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.
The hotel is surrounded by Somali armed forces, and the entire area is cordoned off. Eyewitnesses report the sound of explosions and exchanges of fire between the attackers and the security forces. The attack, which continues even after nightfall, lasts for several hours.
The Somali Prime Minister on Sunday published a message on social networks to offer his condolences to the families of the victims, including General Mohamed Nur Galaal, he wrote, « who has served his country for more than 50 years ». Mohamed Hussein Roble also called on his compatriots to unite against terrorism.
This attack took place at a time when Somalia is due to hold legislative and presidential elections soon. The mandate of the head of state, Mohamed Farmajo, expires on 8 February. But the electoral process is complicated by disagreements between the federal government and the country’s federal states.