24 June, 2017
A suicide vehicle bombing and assault by al-Shabaab militants on two neighbouring restaurants in Somalia's capital Mogadishu ended Thursday morning with 18 dead, a government spokesman said.
The gunmen were posing as military when they attacked last night, according to witnesses. Hussein says all five attackers were killed.
Heavy gunfire could be heard inside Pizza House where an unknown number of hostages were held, the police said. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility.
Hussein said that the attackers cut off the electricity, making it hard to carry out the operation by the security Forces.
Al-Shabab fighters moved through the restaurants killing survivors of the blast with the Somali military saying they were unable to move in due to the darkness. Capt Hussein said all five attackers were killed.
Witnesses said security forces cordoned off the whole district surrounding the site of the incidents, and that the people inside the hotel had been safely evacuated.
The operation took place about 185 miles southwest of Mogadishu and was carried out in coordination with US regional partners as a "direct response" to the actions of al-Shabab, which include recent attacks on Somali forces, according to the Pentagon.
According to reports, Islamist militants from the al-Shabab group have claimed responsibility for the devious events that happened in Somalia.
"So far, we can confirm that nine people - mostly women who were hotel staff - have died", said Mohamed Hussein, another police officer.
The aftermath of an attack by al-Shabab to a restaurant in Mogadishu, Somalia on June 15, 2017.
The blast largely destroyed the restaurant's facade and sparked a fire.
The attack on Pizza House comes after a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed by al-Shabab in May.
The militants took hostages in the restaurant.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group's military spokesman confirmed the nature of the attack.
The militia has opted for a direct confrontation strategy and has also launched several attacks against the military bases of the African Union Mission in Somalia, killing hundreds of soldiers.