A car bomb exploded at the gate of Hotel Afrik hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Sunday and was followed by gunfire inside. A number of armed gunmen quickly invaded the hotel, opening fire. Government forces responded to the attack. Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab is involved. The militant group al Shabaab frequently carries out bombings in its war on Somalia’s government. There is an ongoing operation to rescue people from inside the hotel, according to police. Somalia’s former state minister for defense, Yusuf Siad Indha-Adde was between rescued. It is unclear at the moment the number of casualties.
A top military commander was inside the hotel at the time of the attack. Other senior military officials and lawmakers were also inside the hotel. The hotel is frequented by Members of Parliament, politicians, and security officials, but not foreigners. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack through a statement broadcast by Andalus Radio. Al Shabaab wants to rule Somalia according to its interpretation of Islamic sharia law. Former US President Donald Trump ordered the majority of US troops to leave Somalia “by early 2021.”