On Sunday, the 31st of January,2021, there was a suspected suicide car bomb explosion in Somalia‘s capital of Mogadishu. The explosion was followed by a shootout between militants and security forces at a hotel, causing an initially unknown number of casualties.
According to reports, a vehicle loaded with explosives crashed into the entrance gate of the Afrik Hotel, close to Mogadishu’s K-4 junction, on that Sunday afternoon.
A number of armed gunmen then promptly invaded the hotel, opening fire on staff and patrons inside. State forces responded to the attack, and sporadic gunfire rang out from inside the hotel. The Police was eventually able to rescue many people from the hotel, including its owner and an army general.
There were at least 7 casualties resulting from the attack, although police did not immediately give any number of casualties.
WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SOMALIA EXPLOSIONS?
Somalia’s homegrown jihadist rebel group Al-Shabaab, later claimed responsibility for the explosion and ensuing gunfire attacks on their radio station, Andalus.
There was no immediate reaction by the Somali government and the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission, which is in support of the Somali government’s fight against Al Shabaab.
In a different but related incident, at least eight children have been reported dead, with many others wounded after the explosion of a bomb in the Golweyn area, which is about 120 kilometres south of Mogadishu.
Somalia’s government announced on Sunday night, that the seven-hour deadly siege in the capital Mogadishu, which left nine people dead, had come to an end.
Mohamed Nur Galal, a well-known retired general and former defense minister, was among those confirmed killed in the attack on the popular Hotel Afrik. The hotel is patronized by government stakeholders such as politicians, lawmakers and senior civil servants.
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and the country’s prime minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, sent condolences following Galal’s death. Both leaders urged Somali people to unite against the terrorist group of Al-Shabab.
Police reports confirmed that all four Al Shabaab militants who were involved in the attack on Hotel Afrik, were killed.
By Oluwamayowa Akinyemi
Oluwamayowa Akinyemi is a digital and web content developer with experience in web content development and management as well as research and writing. He is an avid reader of random subject matters and a sucker for movies and video games. He is also passionate about youth empowerment and is a global affairs analyst and enthusiast.