Somali Parliament Cancels Session As Death Toll From Hotel Attack Grows - Reports

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th August, 2022) A session of the Somali parliament was canceled on Saturday as more people were killed in the ongoing gunfire between the security forces and al-Shabaab terrorists (banned in Russia) at Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu, media reported.

On Friday night, three explosions and gunfire between the Somali security forces and members of the al-Shabaab radical Islamist group occurred at Hayat Hotel, which is a popular place among lawmakers and government officials. The shooting between security officers and the attackers has been ongoing for 19 hours, according to local media. Loud explosions are reportedly heard across Mogadishu.

According to the Garowe Online news portal, 16 people were killed in the attack so far. Meanwhile, the Dalsan radio station reported about 15 victims, including the hotel's owner, and dozens of wounded. According to the Somali Guardian, 20 people died in the attack and subsequent shooting.

Al-Shabaab, which is affiliated with the al-Qaeda terrorist group (banned in Russia), has been waging an armed struggle against the government of Somalia and is still controlling large areas in the southern and central parts of the country.

In May, the United States decided to renew strikes against the group's positions to combat the growing threat posed by al-Shabaab to US partner forces. In particular, 13 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in the recent US airstrike in Somalia on August 14, according to the US Africa Command.