CAIRO – Members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations condemned the terrorist attack in Mogadishu on Sunday, joining Somalia’s allies, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Egypt, and Turkey.
On Sunday, Mogadishu police and the military announced that Somali forces had ended a siege at the Hayat and freed 106 people, including women and children.
OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha condemned the heinous act and expressed solidarity with the victims’ families, the government, and the Somali people.
He reaffirmed the OIC’s principled stance against terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations.
According to an official statement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack and stated that the UN supported the people of Somalia “in their fight against terrorism and march toward peace.”
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned and denounced the terrorist attack.
It reiterated the Kingdom’s position of “rejecting all forms of violence, extremism, and terrorism, and expressing condolences and sympathies to the victims’ families, the brotherly Somali government, and people.”
Egypt affirmed its “full solidarity with Somalia in this painful affliction, emphasizing its total rejection of all forms of violence, extremism, and terrorism,” according to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
ATMIS, the African Union force tasked with assisting Somali forces in assuming primary security responsibility by the end of 2024, also condemned the attack.
From Friday evening, Somalia’s elite armed forces fought the militants for 30 hours after the attackers blasted and shot their way into the hotel, which is popular with MPs and other government officials.
According to police, three attackers were killed during the military operation to end the siege.
During the siege, 106 people were rescued, including children and women, according to Police Commissioner Abdi Hassan Mohamed Hijar.
The Al-Shabab extremist group, which has ties to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the latest in a series of attempts to target government officials.
The “audacious attack,” according to Samira Gaid, executive director of the Hiraal Institute, a security think tank based in Mogadishu, was a message to the new government and its foreign allies.
“The goal of the complex attack is to demonstrate that they are still very much present, very relevant, and that they can penetrate government security and conduct such attacks,” she explained.
Aden Ali, a survivor, said he was drinking tea at the hotel when he heard the first blast. As the militants fired at them, he and others ran toward the compound wall.
“There were a dozen of us on the run.” When I walked out of the hotel, there were eight of us. “Perhaps the rest were killed in the shooting,” Ali speculated.
Another group of hotel guests fled to an upper floor, where they were killed by terrorists who had previously blown up the stairs to prevent escape, he added.
Dr. Ali Haji Adam, Minister of Health, reported 21 deaths and 117 injuries, with at least 15 in critical condition. According to him, some victims may not have been taken to the hospital.
Terrorists attacked an African Union peacekeeping base outside Mogadishu in early May, killing Burundian troops.
Police have not yet explained how the hotel attack occurred, and it is unknown how many gunmen entered the building.
Source: Arab News