Regional bloc IGAD condemns terrorist attack in Somali capital

(Xinhua) 13:56, March 16, 2024

ADDIS ABABA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Workneh Gebeyehu, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, on Friday condemned the latest terrorist attack in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

At least three soldiers were killed and 27 others wounded in a terrorist attack at a popular hotel in Mogadishu Thursday evening, the Somali police confirmed Friday. The attack occurred at the SYL Hotel, which is near the country's presidential palace.

The IGAD executive secretary "strongly condemned the cowardly terrorist attack," the IGAD said in a statement.

Gebeyehu expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and the people and government of Somalia, and wished a speedy and full recovery to those injured.

"This criminal act, perpetrated by militants of the terrorist group Al-Shabab during the holy month of Ramadan, is an affront to peace, stability, and the fundamental values of humanity," he said. "Such reprehensible acts of terrorism only strengthen our resolve to combat extremism in all its forms."

Gebeyehu further emphasized the regional bloc's confidence that such attacks will not deter Somalia and the IGAD from their determination to combat terrorism and achieve lasting peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.

The hotel, which has been attacked by the militants in the past, is frequented by government officials and high-profile businessmen.

The latest attack began at around 9:45 p.m., local time, Thursday, after gunmen forced their vehicle laden with explosives inside the SYL Hotel and opened fire on the patrons, including some lawmakers and government officials. Sources said five suicide bombers were inside the vehicle, but one blew himself up, prompting sporadic gunfire inside the hotel between the attackers and security forces.

The terror group Al-Shabab, which is trying to overthrow the government, claimed responsibility for the latest attack. The group has repeatedly staged similar attacks on government buildings, hotels, and other public places. 

(Web editor: Chang Sha, Kou Jie)


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