Six civilians and three members of the security forces were killed on the night of Friday June 9 to Saturday June 10 in an attack perpetrated by radical Chabab Islamists against a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, according to a statement released. by the police. Ten civilians were also injured in the siege of the building, which lasted six hours. The police said that eighty-four people who were in the Pearl Beach hotel were rescued and are unharmed.
The attack, claimed by the Al-Shabaab, began shortly before 8 p.m. on Friday (7 p.m. Paris time), when seven assailants stormed the Pearl Beach hotel on the Mogadishu seafront. Somali security forces ended the siege around 2 a.m., police said, after heavy fire between the security forces and the assailants, all of whom were killed.
The Chabab claim to have targeted a place frequented by the authorities. On Friday evening, witnesses reported heavy shooting near the establishment. Several ambulances were also parked nearby, noted a journalist from Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Government 'total war' against Shabab
In August 2020, the Chababs launched a major attack on L'Elite, another hotel on the Lido beach very popular with the authorities, killing ten civilians and a policeman. It took the security forces four hours to regain control of the establishment.
Al-Qaida-affiliated Al-Qaeda Al-Shabaab, who are calling for the establishment of Islamic law in the country, have been fighting the federal government supported by the international community for more than fifteen years. Driven out of the main cities of the country in 2011-2012, they remain firmly established in vast rural areas.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud declared "total war" on them, and launched a military offensive in September, backed in part by US airstrikes. But the Al-Shabaab continue to carry out bloody attacks in retaliation, recalling their ability to strike at the heart of Somali cities and military installations.
2022 deadliest year for Somali civilians
On May 26, they attacked a base held by Ugandan soldiers from the African Union Force in Somalia (Atmis) in the south of the country, killing at least 54 soldiers. On October 29, two car bombs exploded in Mogadishu, killing 121 people and injuring 333, the deadliest attack in five years in this country also affected by a historic drought.
A triple bomb attack in central Beled Weyne also left 30 people dead, including local officials, in early October and at least 21 Mogadishu hotel guests were killed in a 30-hour siege in August. The siege had raised questions about how Islamist militants managed to reach the closely guarded heart of Mogadishu's administrative district undetected.
In a report to the United Nations (UN) Security Council in February, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres claimed that 2022 had been the deadliest year for civilians in Somalia since 2017, largely due to attacks of the Al-Shabaab.