Somali Ministry of Health confirms 21 dead and 117 wounded in Al Shabaab attack on Hayat hotel

The Somali Ministry of Health has confirmed Sunday at least 21 dead and 117 wounded in the attack by the jihadist organization Al Shabaab on the Hayat hotel in the country’s capital, Mogadishu, which led to a police siege of more than 24 hours against the barricaded terrorists.

The Ministry’s balance sheet, picked up by the U.S. international radio station Voice of America, also details that 15 of the wounded are in serious condition and that a total of 106 people were rescued from the hotel once the police siege ended early Sunday morning.

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The figure lowers the approximately 30 dead that security sources had detailed in previous hours to the Somali media, but it is not known if it includes the terrorists neutralized by the authorities.

Al Shabaab, for its part, has put at 40 dead and 70 wounded the assault on the hotel, in which gunmen barricaded themselves all night after shooting their way in and exploding charges in the vicinity of the place.

The UN Secretary General’s deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, has “strongly” condemned the terrorist attack and has shown his condolences to the families of the victims. Haq wished the injured a “speedy recovery”.

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The EU delegation in Somalia has also spoken out and condemned on Twitter this “cowardly attack.” It has also expressed support for the authorities and citizens “in their quest for peace and stability.”

The assault is unprecedented in recent months and would be the first of this magnitude to be launched by Al Shabaab in the capital since Somali President Hassan Shaykh Mohamud took office in early June.

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