President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud promises to eliminate "ruthless" Al Shabab terror group, in his first address to the East African country since the deadly hotel siege left 21 people dead and more than 100 wounded.
Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has pledged "an all-out war" to eliminate Al Shabab in his first statement to the nation since the terror group staged a deadly 30-hour hotel siege in capital Mogadishu.
"I know that the Somali people are fed up with the endless condolences and mourning, I know that you lose respectable people in every attack carried out by the terrorists," Mohamud said on Tuesday.
"So I call upon you to be prepared for an all-out war against the ruthless (people) who are hostile to our peace," he said in a statement released by the presidency.
"We are determined to weaken the terrorists who destroy our people till all the areas they control are liberated, this is a priority for our government and the preparation and implementation of that plan is ongoing," he said, without elaborating.
The attack, which began on Friday night, was the biggest to hit Somalia's capital since Mohamud took office in June and underscored the challenge of trying to crush the 15-year insurgency by the Al Qaeda-linked group.
At least 21 people died and 117 others were wounded in the gun and bomb attack targeting the popular Hayat Hotel, with the fatalities including Norwegian citizens, according to Norway's government.
'Somalia will defeat its enemy'
Earlier on Tuesday, Mohamud convened a national security committee meeting attended by the prime minister, interior minister and foreign minister, as well as the country's defence chiefs.
In a televised speech later in the evening, Mohamud told citizens to have no doubt that "Somalia will defeat the enemy that is oppressing its country, people and religion."
"Our government, army and people will never surrender until we have a Somalia that is free from terrorists," he said.
The Hayat was a favoured meeting spot for government officials and scores of people were inside when a suicide bomber triggered a massive blast, enabling heavily armed gunmen to enter the hotel.
Minutes later, a second explosion struck as rescuers, security forces and civilians rushed to help the wounded, witnesses said.
The siege only ended at around midnight on Saturday after security forces bombarded the building, leaving much of it in ruins.
Somalia's allies, including Türkiye, the US, the UK as well as the United Nations, strongly condemned the attack, as did ATMIS, the African Union force tasked with helping Somali forces take over primary responsibility for security by the end of 2024.
Al Shabab terrorists were driven out of Mogadishu by an African Union force in 2011.
But they still control swathes of countryside and retain the ability to launch deadly strikes, often hitting hotels and restaurants as well as military and political targets.