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Multiple Casualties In Six-Hour Siege As Al Qaeda Targets Beachside Hotel in Mogadishu

Al Qaeda-linked jihadists belonging to the Al-Shabaab militant group have carried out a deadly attack on a beachside hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, resulting in the deaths of six civilians and the injury of ten others. The assault, which lasted for six hours, began shortly before 8pm on Friday when seven militants stormed the Pearl Beach Hotel.

During the siege, a fierce gunfight erupted between the attackers and security forces, finally coming to an end around 2am. The Somali Police Force reported that three members of the security forces lost their lives during the rescue operation. Fortunately, 84 individuals, including women, children, and elderly people, were successfully rescued by the security forces.

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The attack on the Pearl Beach Hotel is part of a long-standing Islamist insurgency in Somalia, aimed at destabilizing the country’s federal government. Hotels often serve as targets due to their frequent hosting of high-ranking Somali and foreign officials.

Eyewitnesses described the harrowing ordeal, recounting heavy explosions and intense gunfire echoing throughout the beachside hotel. One witness, Abdirahim Ali, was in close proximity to the Pearl Beach restaurant when a powerful explosion rocked the building.

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While he managed to escape, he expressed concern for his colleagues who were unresponsive to calls following the shootout. Another witness, Yaasin Nur, stated that the restaurant was packed with people as it had recently undergone renovation, adding to the worries about the fate of his missing colleagues.

The attack underscores the persistent threat posed by Al-Shabaab in Somalia. According to the United Nations, last year alone, at least 613 civilians were killed and 948 others injured in violence within the country, with improvised explosive devices largely attributed to the militant group.

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The Somali authorities are expected to intensify their efforts to combat terrorism and strengthen security measures in response to this tragic incident. The international community continues to support Somalia in its fight against extremist groups, aiming to bring peace and stability to the region.

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