Mogadishu: Several civilians were killed in an attack on the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, media report.
Local media reported that a gunfight occurred on Friday night between security forces and members of the al-Shabaab radical Islamist group at Hayat Hotel, which is a popular venue with lawmakers and government officials. At least two explosions were reportedly heard in the vicinity of the hotel.
Al Arabiya said on Saturday morning that at least eight civilians were killed as a result of the attack. The Washington Post said that ten people were killed and several others were injured.
The al-Shabaab radical group, which is affiliated with the al-Qaeda terror group, banned in Russia, is waging an armed struggle against the central government of Somalia and still controls large areas in southern and central parts of the country. In May, the United States decided to renew strikes against the group’s positions in order to combat the growing threat that al-Shabaab poses to US partner forces.
On Wednesday, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced that 13 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in a US airstrike in Somalia on August 14, in a remote location near Teedaan.