Somalia: Somali security forces end deadly siege on cosy restaurant

Mogadishu, Somalia (PANA) - The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has praised the Somali security forces for effectively responding to a deadly attack on a restaurant in the capital, Mogadishu, which left dozens dead early Thursday.

At least 19 people were killed by the time the Somali security forces ended the seige on the Pizza House restaurant early Thursday after a vehicle laden with explosives hit a nearby hotel in Mogadishu Wednesday evening.

AU Special Envoy Francisco Madeira, praised the swift response by Somali National Security Forces to the attack by Al-Shabaab terrorists on the restaurant.

"Once again, the terrorists, in the same cowardly manner, targeted civilians at a popular restaurant with a vehicle improvised explosive device, killing and injuring innocent people. However, the rapid and quick response of the security forces prevented further destruction and loss of life," AMISOM said.

Somali intelligence officials spotted the attackers before the siege at the restaurant began at the time, sources told PANA.

"The unity and resilience of the people of Somalia shall win over those that seek to spread terror by disregarding the sanctity of human life," Madeira said.

The attackers entered the restaurant and took strategic positions before an explosive went off in a neighbouring restaurant, according to the source.

"The act of bravery exhibited by the security forces must be commended and is proof that the reforms being undertaken by the government under the new National Security Architecture Agreement are taking shape and beginning to show positive results," Madeira said.

At the time of the attack, the security forces managed to rescue several civilians, including Somalia's deputy Speaker, Abshir Mohamed.

Some two Kenyan and four Ethiopian nationals were also rescued but a Syrian chef at the restaurant was among those whose bodies were found after the hostage situation ended.

“The attack on civilians last evening was a desperate attempt by the terrorists seeking public attention, after having suffered serious losses from recent operations by Somali Government Forces," Madeira said.

The ongoing security operation under the stabilization campaign in Mogadishu and others targeting Al-Shabaab camps have left the militants severely weakened, AMISOM said.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo has stepped up a military campaign against the Al Shabaab after initially offering an amnesty.

The AU force welcomed the ongoing operations to seize illegal firearms in Mogadishu and other major towns to help secure the country.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 15June2017

15 june 2017 13:23:15

xhtml CSS