Update : Terror attack in Somalia

In a suicide bomb and gun attack on a hotel in southern Somalia, several people, including journalists and politicians, were killed.

What has happened?

  • The authorities said that a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into the popular Medina hotel in the port city of Kismayo on Friday. This was followed by a gunfight in which several journalists and politicians were killed.
  • The area’s legislators and local elders were discussing an upcoming local election in the hotel which was also been attended by several Somali Journalists. The city, on the most popular in the city, was also hosting several foreigners.
  • The armed group al-Shabab, (which is believed by many to be linked to al-Qaeda) claims to have carried out this attack.
  • The final aim of the al-Shabab is to topple the Somali government.
  • As per the locals, several gunmen entered and started shooting at the occupants inside the building but the security forces responded quickly and engaged in a gunfight with the attackers.

What is al-Shabab?

Al-Shabab is a major fundamentalist group which was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds. In 2012, it was driven out of Kismayo, whose port had been a major source of revenue for the group.

Outside of Kismayo, al-Shabab still controls parts of Jubbaland, a region in southern Somalia.

The armed group remains a major security threat, with its fighters frequently carrying out bombings in Somalia and neighboring Kenya, whose troops form part of the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force that helps defend the Somali government.

 

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