A hotel has been attacked by gunmen in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, with at least five people killed. Video posted on social media shows a large plume of smoke emerging from the scene that suffered the explosion.
Reports of the attack emerged on local media on Sunday. Several videos circulating online show dust and smoke emerging from the location, identified as Mogadishu’s Elite Hotel, while gunfire can be heard in the background.
A VBIED was detonated in front of the popular Hotel known as “Hotel Elite” at Liido beach in Mogadishu. Following the explosion, armed gunmen stormed the building and there is currently a gunfight under way inside the hotel. I’ll update as details come in. pic.twitter.com/S49CXtbJvA
— Somali News Updates (@Somaliweyn_) August 16, 2020
The videos were filmed at a distance from the hotel, making it difficult to tell what exactly happened there.
Local media outlets reported that a powerful explosion went off at the hotel before it was stormed by gunmen. Some pinned the blame on Al-Shabaab – a hard-line Islamist militant group, that has ties to Al-Qaeda.
“There are deaths and injuries of civilians who were passing near the hotel and others who were inside the hotel. Among the dead is one director of the Information Ministry,” said the state-run SONNA news agency, citing Information Ministry Spokesman Ismail Mukhtar Omar.
PHOTO: Outside the Elite Hotel in Liido beach #Mogadishu where an active attack still continues. Rampaged shooting still reported with gunmen inside the hotel. Aamin Ambulance says 28 injured persons were taken to the hospital. Number of deaths yet to be confirmed. #Somaliapic.twitter.com/2VQx8WZqV9
— Abdalle Ahmed Mumin (@Cabdalleaxmed) August 16, 2020
At least 28 people were injured in the attack, local media reported, citing the ambulance service. Five others were killed during the incident, a security official told AFP.
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