Deadly hotel siege in Mogadishu continues
By Nathan Morley
Somalia’s al Shabaab insurgents seized hostages, after blasting their way into the Hayat Hotel on Friday evening. The hotel is a popular venue with legislators and other civil servants.
This is the first major attack since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was sworn in three months ago.
So far, authorities have confirmed 12 people, mostly civilians, have died.
Reports suggest the gunmen were holding an unknown number of hostages on the second floor of the hotel, thwarting authorities efforts to use heavy weapons.
They have also bombed out the stairwell, leaving large sections of the hotel damaged.
Al Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow the Somali government for more than a decade. It wants to set up its own rule based on a strict version of Islamic law.