International

Gunmen Storm Mogadishu Hotel, Killing Dozens, Including Six Parliamentarians

Muna Hotel Somalia

Somali government forces walk outside the Muna Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia. A suicide bomber and a gunman stormed the hotel, killing at least 15 people, including members of parliament. Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP

In Mogadishu, Somali gunmen stormed the Muna Hotel, killing dozens of people, including several members of the country's parliament, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

According to Jeffrey Gettleman, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, the attackers were dressed as police officers.

A fierce room-by-room battle then broke out between the attackers and government forces, who rushed to the three-story hotel and surrounded it by noon, pushing the gunmen to the upper floor.

Reuters quotes a spokesman for Somalia's Ministry of Information:

Six of the MPs who were staying at the hotel were among the dead in the attack. In addition, five government security personnel died in the operation. They (the gunmen) lastly blew themselves up.

The attack "comes hot on the heels of two days of heavy fighting," Quist-Arcton notes. Last night, some 40 people died in the Somali capital.

"The hotel attack seems to be part of a bigger offensive that insurgents opened on Monday against government forces and shows that the insurgents have figured out how to infiltrate nearly every inch of Mogadishu, even within the parts of the city that the government claims it firmly controls," Gettleman reports.

Dozens of people have been killed during the past few days in street battles and mortar barrages that sent shells crashing into civilian neighborhoods and camps for internally displaced people.

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