A Popular Hotel In Mogadishu Under Attack

The popular hotel, Maka al-Mukarama, in the Samali capital of Mogadishu came under attack on Friday. The story is still unfolding – but what is known is that attack began when a suicide bomber detonated a car, parked at hotel’s gatel, killing three soldiers and at least two civilians immediately. Shortly following the explosion, three gunmen who appear to be Al-Shabaab militants, stormed the popular hotel in Mogadishu.

This is where details get fuzzy. The gunmen entered the hotel through the back, perhaps using the detonation as a distraction. They are currently in control of the hotel. No news is available about their demands, or the number of hostages at this time. However, sources now say that the number of injuries is 12 with 9 being confirmed dead. Both of these numbers, unfortunately, are expected to rise by the day’s end.

Maka al-Mukarama is a upscale, popular hotel in Mogadishu, where members of the Somali parliament are frequent visitors. Reports from Mogadishu indicate that government officials were inside the hotel at the time of attack. Gunfire can be heard from outside the hotel and some of the attackers are visible on the hotel’s rooftop. Police are swarming the area, but there is fear that the death toll could be much higher. This hotel has come under attack during at least three separate incidents in the past – just two weeks ago, a bomb outside the hotel exploded, killing two people.

The attack could be in response to yesterday’s capture of a top Al-Shabaab commander with three of his suspected militants by Somali security forces. The Somali government claims that the captured commander was one of the masterminds behind a number of suicide attacks on the capital.

Al-Shababb is a strict Islamic group who swore allegiance to Al-Qaeda in 2012 and is responsible for killing scores of people in Mogadishu just this year. They are said to be waging war against the enemies of Islam with a force that could be as strong as 10,000 men. They fund their operations by the illegal poaching of elephants and selling the ivory.