Somalia: Al-Shabab attack seafront hotels in Mogadishu killing 20, a suspected leader arrested

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Aftermath of attack (Image via Radio Dalsan) 

Twenty people were killed including 8 attackers during an assault by Al Shabab on the Beach View Hotel at Lido beach, Mogadishu, Somalia on Thursday evening. The group has links with Al Qaeda and operates out of the country’s southern and central regions and is in conflict with the Somali Federal Government. The BBC reported,

“Two car bombs exploded about an hour apart early on Thursday evening. In between, gunmen approached from the beach, firing on diners.

A siege followed, lasting eight hours, but has now ended, the ministry said.”

Harun Maruf reporting for VOA said, “Lido beach restaurant/hotels are popular with politicians and diaspora returnees, serve seafood, host late night events and activities.” He claimed that according to his sources, “US-trained elite Gaashaan units are engaging the attackers, militants still inside. Security officials confirmed that 2 events, a wedding ceremony and a graduation dinner were taking place at Beach View when Shabab attacked.” Maruf tweeted, “local journalist says he hid in a bathroom for 3 hrs before government forces rescued him; he saw gunmen shot and kill staff in the kitchen…. They (Shabab) came from the beachside running and shooting, people escaped to the roadside but were met by an explosion.”

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At the scene of the attack (Image via Radio Dalsan)

The Independent stated that Al Shabab had attacked the Lido Seafood Restaurant,

“We are inside and control the cafe,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab group’s military spokesman, said.

“There are many casualties lying inside and outside the cafe.”

Radio Dalsan,

UPDATE security agencies now battling another group which used fishing boats to carry out attack.

Adam Omar who tweets on security, politics and cricket posted,

Per latest info, at least 20 dead, some killed execution style. 6 of the attackers have been killed with attack mastermind in govt. hands.

One of the more horrifying casualties, a mother and her child murdered in cold blood at attack

Abdirashid Muse said, “one of the survivor of tonight’s Lido attack told me that he was going to attend a wedding ceremony. The bride & groom are held hostage.” Harun Maruf said that a number of children who were with their parents at the wedding ceremony had been rescued rescued, some as young as 4-9 years old and that one of them is wounded.

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Suspected leader of the assault

The suspected leader of the attack was captured. Adam Omar said, “Ismail Muse who’s a Dutch national is most notable for engineering Makka Mukarama and Central Hotels among others.”

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Somali Beach attack (Image via Moez Bhar, Reuters)

National Intelligence & Security Agency (NISA) of Somalia provided updates on the attacks. Three journalists were among those rescued including leading Somali website Jowhar online editor Abdiaziz. They spoke of a heart touching story of Abdirisaq Abukar Haji (age 8) who told rescuers how UGUS had killed his Mother and his uncle in front of his eyes, his sister is missing!

NISA said, “attackers were 8, in total 6 was shot, 1 was suicide and 1 was captured alive. Civilians death 6 to 10, injuries yet to be confirmed, more than 35 civilian were rescued.”

The Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke stated, “I unreservedly condemn the barbaric attack at Lido. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims.”

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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