EU condemns Al-Shabaab attack on seaside hotel in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The European Union has joined a host of certain quarters in condemning the hotel attack in Mogadishu, just hours after the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility, in a raid that once again throws the state of security in the seaport city into shambles.
A car bomb exploded outside Liido Hotel on Sunday moments before which gunmen stormed the facility, leading to a siege that lasted for several hours, that leftover 16 people dead and thousands injured during the melee, which comes amid calls for peace and stability in Somalia.
Nicolas Berlanga, the European Union ambassador to Somalia, condemned the heinous attack, adding that the attack remains the people of Somalia on the importance of peace and stability, in a country that has struggled for long-lasting peace in the last couple of decades.
"EU Del condemns the terrorist attack in Mogadishu this evening, expresses condolences to the families of victims and sympathy to those injured," the European Union boss said in a statement that strongly indicates the position of the West in the fight against terrorism in Somalia.
"The attack reminds us the importance of unity: the EU firmly believes dialogue and trust among leaders prevent and combat terrorism," added the envoy, who has been instrumental in pushing for development and international support in the country, which is ranked amongst the worst hotspots of terror in the world.
Sunday's attack was one of the worst Raid by Al-Shabaab militants in two weeks period, following the siege on April 12 military base within the capital, which also left at least eight soldiers dead following a fierce gunfight, top government officials said.
In a statement, the federal government of Somalia also condemned the attack, arguing that the terrorists should stop targeting innocent civilians in their "cowardly" attacks. Lido Hotel is located within the peaceful environs of Mogadishu, the Somali capital which has been in relative peace.
"FGS condemns the cowardly, barbaric and senseless attack against innocent civilians around Lido beach. Targeting peaceful, harmless, and innocent families, youth, and children at a public place are intolerable to humanity. It has no justification what so ever," added a statement from the ministry of information.
Abdirisak Abdi, one of the Ministry of Information's regional relations director is one of the over ten people who were killed in the four-hour siege attack which involved four hardcore Al-Shabaab criminals within the capital, Mogadishu. The attack comes amid a series of insecurity incidents in Mogadishu.
The owner of Elite hotel, Abdullahi Mohamed Nur who is a member of the Somali parliament among the people rescued by the security forces from the attack, which would later be claimed by the Al-Shabaab militants, who have been making inroads to the capital almost ten years after the attack.
Over forty people were seriously wounded in the attack, top government officials confirmed. Somali security forces killed all fighters to end elite hotel siege in Mogadishu by Al-Shabab, which is stepping up attacks as the Horn of Africa country is preparing for elections.
The militants have been making small to large scale sporadic attacks within the Somali capital, something which has been increasingly worrying security forces within the Horn of Africa nation. Mogadishu is one of the closely guarded cities within the country, which has been enjoying relative peace for almost a decade.