The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) in Somalia, Michael Keating, condemned in the strongest possible terms yesterday’s attack on the Naso Hablod Hotel, in the busy KM-4 junction, in Southern Mogadishu, that according to eyewitness reports has left at least 25 dead and injured many more.
Mr. Buri Mohamed Hamza, the State Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office for Environment Affairs was among the casualties of the attack. “I’m appalled by this atrocious attack which took the life of many people. The death of Minister Hamza is very saddening. He was a passionate advocate for Somalia’s natural environment and was fighting against its degradation” said SRSG Keating.
A suicide bomber detonated a car with explosives at the gate of the hotel shortly before Iftar. Once the attackers moved inside they started shooting indiscriminately at guests, causing chaos and destruction.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on the Naso Hablod hotel which is often used by politicians and tourists. The deceased included guests, security guards employed by the hotel and pedestrians who just happened to be in the vicinity.
SRSG Keating said the incident was a reminder of the desperate tactics employed by violent extremists. “This latest atrocity once again shows Al-Shabaab’s contempt for efforts to achieve peace, their disregard for Somali lives, and their inability to engage in politics”.
The attack took place just over three weeks after an action against the Ambassador Hotel on June 1st, which left 11 dead.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims. I wish the wounded a swift recovery. The United Nations and our partners remain resolute in our efforts to support Somalis to achieve peace, security and stability”, said the SRSG.