(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
Al-Shabab militants launched an attack on the heavily fortified
Villa Rosa Hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Sunday, police
said, trend reports citing xinhua . Casualties remained unknown.
A huge bomb exploded at the busy hotel, which is frequently used
by government officials, local police and witnesses said.
'The forces rescued government officials and members of the
public who were trapped in the building,' Sadiq Dudishe,
spokesperson of the Somali Police Force, told the Somali National
News Agency without disclosing the number of casualties.
The police operation was underway to end the siege at the hotel,
Witnesses said the extremist group set off the explosion at the
gate of the hotel near the presidential palace.
'The government forces arrived at the scene to rescue the people
and are still fighting the militants inside the hotel. We can hear
gunshots from the hotel,' a resident who declined to be named told
Xinhua on the phone.
Al-Shabab militants, who have been fighting to topple the
government for more than a decade, claimed responsibility for the
bombing, saying they targeted a gathering of officials at the
The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia strongly
condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with the government
and people of Somalia, saying it 'applauds Somali security forces
for the swift response to prevent further casualties and property
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