The attack on Nasa Hablod Hotel 2 in Mogadishu ended on Sunday after a near 12-hour siege. Out of five attackers, three were captured alive, police said.

Civilians assist a man, injured from a suicide car bomb explosion, at the gate of Nasahablod Two Hotel in Hamarweyne district of Mogadishu, Somalia. October 28, 2017.
Civilians assist a man, injured from a suicide car bomb explosion, at the gate of Nasahablod Two Hotel in Hamarweyne district of Mogadishu, Somalia. October 28, 2017. (Feisal Omar / Reuters)

An attack on a hotel in the Somali capital ended on Sunday after 25 people had been killed in a near 12-hour siege, police said, underlining the insurgents' ability to carry out deadly attacks in the heart of the city.

"The death toll rises to 25 people including police, hotel guards and residents. The death toll may rise. We suspect some other militants disguised themselves and escaped with the residents who were rescued," police officer Major Mohamed Hussein said.

"Three militants were captured alive and two others blew up themselves after they were shot," he added.

The attack began at 5pm on Saturday when a car bomb exploded outside the Nasa Hablod Hotel 2 entrance, followed by a minibus loaded with explosives going off at a nearby intersection. The siege ended on Sunday morning.

TRT World's Mmala-habe Mot-sepe reports.

A spokesman for Somalia's security ministry said a number of people had been rescued from Shabaab gunmen.

"The security forces are still working on retrieving the casualties, we don't have exact number of the casualties so far," spokesman Abdiasiz Ali Ibrahim told reporters.

A witness saw seven bodies lying inside the hotel.

The explosion destroyed the front of the three-storey hotel and a next door hotel was also damaged. 

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab claimed the bombing and hotel assault in a statement on its Andalus radio station.
"The Mujahedeen fighters are inside Nasa Hablod 2 hotel where... apostate officials are staying," said the brief statement.

The hotel is popular among government officials, several of whom were rescued by the security forces.

TRT World speaks to journalist Omar Nor in Mogadishu.

President Mohamed condemns attack

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed condemned the attack which comes two weeks after a massive truck bomb killed at least 358 people in the capital, the worst attack in the troubled country's history.
"The violent terrorists carried out this attack to scare our people who are united to support security after the disaster on October 14. Such atrocities will neither deter nor discourage our will to fight the terrorists," the president said in a statement.

Fight against al Shabaab

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said the new attack was meant to instil fear in Somalis who united after the October 14 attack, marching in the thousands through Mogadishu in defiance of al Shabaab.

Since the blast two weeks ago, Mohamed has been visiting regional countries to seek more support for the fight against the violent group.

A 22,000-strong multinational African Union force in Somalia is expected to withdraw its forces and hand over the country's security to the Somali military by the end of 2020.

The US military also has stepped up military efforts against al Shabaab this year in Somalia, carrying out nearly 20 drone strikes.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies