31 janvier 2023

The death toll from the al-Shabab hotel attack in Somalia has risen to 11

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The siege at the Tawakal hotel was al-second Shabab's major strike in Somalia this month, after an onslaught against the organization in central Somalia by the Somali National Army and allied militia. A triple bombing in the town of Beledweyne in early October killed at least 20 people.

According to Abdisalam Guled, the head of Eagle Ranges Services, a Mogadishu-based security firm, al-Shabab is staging war in all parts of Somalia to send a message to the government in Mogadishu. Guled stated that the attack on the Tawakal Hotel in Kismayo on Sunday demonstrates that al-Shabab may strike anywhere and at any moment. He also stated that it demonstrates how al-Shabab has information on those ready to battle the group. Guled claims to have knowledge of continuing discussions in the hotel to discuss ways to combat al-Shabab.

A lengthy struggle

For more than 15 years, Al-Shabab has been striving to destabilize the internationally recognized Somali government. Guled cautioned that if the government fails to defeat al-Shabab, the implications might be severe, particularly for communities that have joined forces with the government and sent militias to the battleground. Guled stated that the struggle against al-Shabab is taking place in certain locations and that new front lines are needed to weaken al-Shabab. Southwest state should join the conflict, as should Jubaland state.

Jubaland's regional state minister for security, Yusuf Hussein Osman, detailed what transpired on Sunday.

According to Osman, four terrorists were present; one blew himself up at the entrance and three others pushed their way into the hotel. He said that they had all been removed. Osman further stated that while the bulk of the hostages in the hotel were liberated, pupils from a neighboring school were killed. Osman stated that burial preparations for the attack's deceased victims were already in the works.

“I think Jubaland state is the stronghold of al-Shabab," he said. "The fiercest war against al-Shabab will take place in this state if the group is defeated in central Somalia. The state is the breeding ground of al-Shabab as the top leaders are in this state. ”The raid on Sunday was the group’s deadliest in Kismayo since 2019 when 26 people — among them Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Naleyeh — were killed in an attack on another hotel.

 

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