Somali terrorist group kills 15 in hotel attack

At least 15 dead, including an army general who led an offensive against al-Shabaab, in attack on hotel in Mogadishu.

Matt Wanderman ,

Car bomb (file)
Car bomb (file)

The al-Shabaab jihadist group has claimed responsibility for a hotel attack that killed at least 15 people in Mogadishu, Somalia, including a general who led an offensive against the terror group four years ago, and a member of Somalia's parliament.

Early this morning, two vehicles filled with explosives struck the Sahafi Hotel, police say. Following the explosions, al-Shabaab gunmen entered the building and opened fire.

Police and security forces came to the scene but it took them several hours to subdue the terrorists.

One of al-Shabaab's favored tactics is to use bombs to clear out security forces, then send in terrorists on foot. The group effectively ruled Somalia for a number of years before being overpowered by troops from Somalia and the African Union in 2011. It still maintains a presence as a guerrilla group and is trying to take down the Somali government.

The Sahafi Hotel is popular among government officials and legislators. The people killed today include the military officer in charge of the 2011 offensive against al-Shabaab, as well as the hotel's owner, and a member of parliament . There were many other government officials present at the time of the attack, but police say they were able to rescue the officials through a back window.