At least 28 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a recent gun and bomb attack, which was carried out by al-Shabaab. According to officials, the assault occurred on Wednesday morning of this week at a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The offense began when attackers rammed an explosives-packed car into the gate of the Dayah Hotel, located near Somalia’s parliament in central Mogadishu while storming inside and exchanging gunfire with the security guards on duty. A second large car bomb went off after ambulances and journalists had arrived at the scene, resulting in, at least, four reporters being wounded. An official tally has confirmed 28 deaths and 43 injured in the two blasts.
An article published by Al Jazeera earlier this week has provided insight into the consequences of the conflict. According to Yusuf Hassan, editor of Somali newspaper Haqiqa Times, reporters from Al Jazeera were informed that “All the neighbouring houses have been destroyed… well-armed mujahideen [fighters] attacked the hotel and now they are fighting inside the hotel.” Dozens of people were thought to have been in the hotel at the time of the attack, including prominent members of Somalia’s parliament. Reporters were informed that the hotel is popular with politicians, government officials, and entrepreneurs.
The militant group al-Shabaab has carried out a series of deadly attacks in Somalia, with the intention of toppling the country’s western-backed government. In June, the group claimed responsibility for an attack on the Nasa Hablod hotel, which resulted in, at least, 15 confirmed deaths. The civil war in Somalia began in early 2009, with the conflict originating between the forces of the federal government of Somalia, assisted by African Union peacekeeping troops, and various militant Islamist groups and factions. The presence of al-Shabaab has increased over the years and has resulted in the death and displacement of thousands of Somalian civilians.
Many of the civilians of Somalia have been displaced from their homes and properties as a result of the excessive conflict and chaos. Al-Shabaab has engaged in numerous attacks during their presence throughout the country, which has resulted in hundreds of confirmed deaths. These acts of aggression have also led to the displacement of thousands of families and citizens, out of fear of being targeted by the militant group. A particular effort has been made on behalf of the group to focus their attacks on Kenyan troops aiding the battle against the militants in Somalia. Many major developed countries have justifiably classified al-Shabaab as a terrorist group with malicious intentions towards society. In addition to operating in southern Somalia, al-Shabaab are also situated in Yemen and have actively participated in the civil wars of both countries.
The government of Somalia have been backed by the United Nations forces. The government hesitates to promote violent retaliation to al-Shabaab’s terrorist attacks. Instead, the presence of the UN has been used as a peacekeeping force, and focuses on minimizing the total damage and consequences of each attack. In some cases, the aggression of the group must be met with combative forces in order to minimize casualties. The United Nations intend to provide more troops, and have made plans to play a more active role in the fight against terrorism in Somalia. The increased support will be delegated in hopes of achieving a peaceful future for the country’s citizens in the shortest possible time.