A view shows the damaged facade of Hotel Hayat in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Saturday. Reuters
Somali forces have ended a siege at a hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, an army officer told the media on Sunday, adding that they were still clearing explosives scattered around the building.
Somali authorities on Sunday appeared to have ended a deadly attack on a hotel in the capital in which at least 20 people were killed.
It took Somali forces more than 30 hours to contain the gunmen who had stormed Mogadishu's Hayat Hotel on Friday evening in an assault that started with loud explosions.
Somali police officers ride on their pick-up truck towards Hotel Hayat in Mogadishu, Somalia. Reuters
"We are still investigating the explosions of many plastic bags that have been scattered around the hotel," said Mohamed Ali, a military officer at the scene.
The French news agency Agence France-Presse earlier reported that all the gunmen had been killed, citing a security commander.
Friday's attack was the first such major incident since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May.
The al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Al Shabaab has been fighting to topple the Somali government for more than 10 years. It wants to establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law.
The Hayat is a hotel popular with lawmakers and other government officials.
The Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab often targets Mogadishu, and the United Nations and other international observers have warned that the group would take advantage of Somalia’s current election crisis to launch more attacks.
"The Somali National Army (SNA) last night carried out a planned operation in the Galka-Harare area of Middle Shabelle where the militants were based, killing 37 al-Shabab militants and capturing two others," the armed forces said in a statement issued here on Saturday.
No group has claimed responsibility. Such attacks are commonplace in Somalia, where militant organisation al Shabaab have been waging a 12-year campaign to topple the central government.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikhs and guests of the country witnessed on Sunday the “Union March”, which was organised by the Presidential Office and launched as part of the activities of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival for 2023 in Al Wathba area in Abu Dhabi.
At least 26 people were injured — including a local cleric — and transferred to hospitals. Police helped reroute traffic in the area after condoning off the site, officials said. The interior minister of Gilgit-Baltistan called the incident an "act of terrorism.”
Modi thanked voters for "their unwavering support” in the states where his party was leading. Rahul Gandhi, the Congress leader, conceded defeat in the three states where his party was trailing.