A siege at Maka al-Mukarama hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, which was rocked by explosions carried out by Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab militants has now ended, with 14 people dead.
According to a senior government official, Somali ambassador to United Nations Yusuf Mohamed Ismail Bari Bari was also killed in the gun battle that took place at the hotel.
Information minister Mohamed Abdi said the dead included five civilians, four hotel guards and four government soldiers.
Police officer Major Ismail Olow told Reuters they believe six out of nine attackers have been killed.
Major Ismail Olow said: “Most parts of the hotel are in the hands of the government forces now but there is sporadic gunfire and grenades hurled from the windows of the second floor of the hotel.”
The news agency quoted police saying the US-trained special forces troops known as ‘Gaashaan’ stormed the compound of the Maka al-Mukarama hotel and took control.
It was believed the attack began when an explosives-packed car was detonated by a suicide bomber at the hotel entrance and a siege was started by spraying bullets.
A statement from the African Union Commission in Somalia revealed some members of the terror group stormed into the first, second and third floors of the hotel, CNN reported.
Located along a highway leading to the country’s presidential palace, the Maka al-Mukarama hotel is said to be popular with lawmakers, journalists, business people and Somalis.
In February, 25 people were killed and more than 40 injured after the militant group set off a car bomb inside the compound of Central Hotel in Mogadishu. Those killed in the attack include several government officials and lawmakers.
The militant group has been fighting in the country to oust the federal government supported by the West and impose governance influenced by the Sharia law.