Somali lawmakers killed in Mogadishu hotel attack - UPDATED

Somali fighters stormed a Mogadishu hotel popular with government officials.

Somali lawmakers killed in Mogadishu hotel attack - UPDATED

Suspected Somali al Shabaab fighters disguised in army uniforms stormed a hotel popular with government officials on Tuesday and a legislator said at least 15 parliamentarians were killed.

Fighting raged in Mogadishu Tuesday after al-Shabab fighters declared a "massive" war against what they called "invaders".

But, there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

"They have slaughtered 15 MPs. We are surrounding the hotel area. We want to catch them and our troops are there," legislator Mohamed Hasan told Reuters by telephone.

The African Union confirmed at least 15 people were killed in the attack on the Huna Hotel, near the presidential palace.

A hotel worker who fled the hotel said one of the attackers was a suicide bomber and had blown himself up.

The Somali government said one fighter had been captured after the attack while two remained holed up inside.

The attack came a day after the African Union announced the arrival of hundreds of new troops, mostly Ugandans.

The AMISOM troops have been able to do little more than guard the airport and port and shield President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.

"Civilians dead in clashes"

The fighting broke out on Monday afternoon when Shebab fighters launched an offensive on army barracks in several districts of the capital.

The government also said it had killed more than 15 insurgents belonging to the Shabaab.

At least 29 Somali civilians were killed in clashes between African Union-backed government troops and al-Shabab fighters in the fresh outbreak of violence, medics said.

Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Rage, al-Shabab's spokesman, had said on Monday that fighters were starting a new war against "invaders", an apparent reference to the 6,000 African Union troops deployed in the country to support government forces.

The battle resumed on Tuesday morning after an overnight lull.


Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2010, 15:33
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