Oct. 29 (UPI) — A reported 23 people are dead in the wake of a terrorist attack carried out in Somalia’s capital over the weekend.
The attack began on Saturday when a pair of car bombs exploded at the entrance to a popular Mogadishu hotel, killing guards and bystanders, and destroying many surrounding buildings.
After the blast, a group of gunman invaded the Nasa Hablod Two Hotel, not far from Somalia’s presidential palace. The extremists, alleged to be members of the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, a group linked with al-Qaeda, engaged in gunfire with security forces inside the hotel.
The siege of the hotel lasted 15 hours, but ended Sunday morning with two militants dead and three others in custody.
A pair of politicians, Abdinasir Garane, a former member of the nation’s parliament, and Madoobe Nuunow, a regional minister, were killed in the attack.
Local politicians, police officials and security personnel had gathered in Mogadishu to discuss plans to combat al-Shabab. The meeting was scheduled for Sunday.
According to BBC, the extremists said they targeted the hotel because its high-profile political guests.
More than 40 people were wounded during the attacks.
Earlier this month, nearly 300 were killed in a series of bombings carried out by al-Shabab in Mogadishu.