Somalia attack: 10 killed after gunmen raid restaurant, seize hostages

Gunmen raided a beach restaurant in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, killing 10 people and seizing hostages amid fierce battles with security forces, authorities said.

The standoff started Thursday when attackers detonated a car bomb outside the restaurant , according to Bishar Abshir Ghedi, the Mogadishu police commissioner.

Attackers then stormed into the restaurant with their weapons and clashed with security forces stationed around the building.

Somali elite forces killed two attackers and wounded one, the police official said. At least 20 people were rescued, he added.

Al-Shabaab’s military spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack in a message on the terror group’s radio station. He said the restaurant was targeted because it is frequented by Somali government officials and foreigners.

The Somali militant group regularly attacks hotels popular with Westerners in the capital. In June, gunmen stormed a hotel in Mogadishu after detonating a car filled with explosives at the gate — an attack that left at least 15 people dead and 25 others injured, police said.

Police responded and engaged in a gun battle with the suspects for several hours. The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for that attack.

The June attack occurred three weeks after suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen set off an explosion and stormed another popular Mogadishu hotel, killing at least 13 people. Three attackers were also killed.

The June 1 siege occurred at the Ambassador Hotel, a popular spot for Somali politicians and Westerners.

The group has been blamed for attacks in Somalia that have killed international aid workers, journalists, civilian leaders and African Union peacekeepers.

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