Somali security forces have ended the siege of the Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu and neutralized all of the suspected al-Shabab militants, officials say. Somali President Sheikh called the jihadists "increasingly desperate."
A group of five Islamic extremists killed six people and injured ten more in the Sunday attack on the highly fortified hotel in the Somali capital, a police official said.
The security forces ended the siege by midday, according to police commander Ali Ahmed.
"It's over now, we have killed all the attackers." said Ahmed."They came under cover of darkness and attacked the hotel while some of the guards were sleeping."
The militants, armed with AK47 and grenades, detonated a car bomb to gain entry to the hotel, a popular venue for MPs, government employees and businesspeople.
"They came in firing bullets randomly and chanting God is great they shot anyone they could see," said a surviving hotel resident, Ahmed Abdulle.
Protecting faith from extremists
The jihadist group al-Shabab quickly claimed responsibility for the Sunday attack.
"The mujahedeen fighters took control of the Sahafi hotel, where apostates and invading Christians were staying," the group's spokesman Abdiaziz Abu-Musab said in a statement.
After the deadly incident, President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud urged his compatriots to "prevent extremists from distorting the faith of our fathers."
"This is the action of an increasingly desperate, internally-divided group of extremists ... (who) seek to grab the headlines through killing innocent Muslims," he said.
dj/jm (AP, AFP)