Al-Shabaab terror attack targets Mogadishu hotel frequented by Somali lawmakers, police say
Al-Shabaab militants stormed the Mogadishu Hotel last week, killing at least seven people, including two security guards, and wounding 12 others.
The attack was one of several suicide bombings claimed by Somali-based al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab in recent months, as militants seek to establish an Islamic emirate across the Horn of Africa region.
The Mogadishu hotel attack was the deadliest terrorist attack in Somalia of the last 15 years, with the country’s police chief, General Abdiasis Abu Salim Giyim, saying the hotel was the “capital of Al-Warqa’a, a jihadist group that has a presence in numerous countries, including America, Europe and the Middle East”.The hotel was known for hosting a number of Somali lawmakers and officials, according to the BBC.
The assault in Mogadishu last week was the deadliest since al-Shabaab’s leader, Omar Abdirahman, declared the group’s caliphate in 2014, and the deadliest of the group’s attacks in Mogadishu since 2011.
The group has claimed responsibility for nearly all of the attacks in the capital in recent years, and has expanded its assault to other regions of Somalia in recent months, including neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia in early December.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, al-Shabaab’s emir, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, said the attack was retaliation for the United States drone strike in December that killed a top al-Shabaab commander.
“The US and the West did not respect us when we launched our retaliation for the drone strike in December. This is the biggest mistake America has made since 9/11 [attack],” he said.
“We will not forget the American soldiers. It is our duty to hit them where it hurts the most.”
Two people have been killed and 12 injured in