At least five people were killed today and two others wounded when members of Somalia’s al-Shabaab launched a pair of bombings against beach-side restaurants and a hotel in the capital of Mogadishu, engaging in a heavy gunfight with security forces.
The exact overall casualties are still a matter of considerable speculation, as Shabaab claimed “many casualties” when they seized a cafe on the beach, but after hours of fighting the government claimed everyone had been rescued.
The attack is an unusual one for al-Shabaab, which generally only targets civilian sites in the countries of AU nations involved in the Somalia war, but inside Somalia generally has stuck to attacking military bases and other such targets.
Witnesses reported that Shabaab fighters accessed the hotel from boats, and described a rain of bullets across several sites. There was apparently a wedding at one of the restaurants during the attack, increasing the number of people in the area.
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