Restaurant Siege Ends With More Than 20 Dead
Somali security forces say many people were rescued
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2016 2:46 AM CST
Somali citizens walk past the wreckage of vehicles outside a beachfront restaurant following an overnight attack on the restaurant in Mogadishu on Friday.   (Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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(Newser) – Somalia's security forces ended a deadly siege of a beachfront restaurant in the capital, with more than 20 people killed in the attack, a police official said Friday. Security forces took control of the restaurant just before dawn, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein, speaking from the scene of the attack in Mogadishu. It wasn't clear whether Hussein's report of more than 20 killed included the assailants. Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack in a broadcast on its online radio channel late Thursday.

Blasts and bursts of gunfire could be heard as Somali special forces went from room to room pursuing the al-Shabab gunmen who were holed up inside the restaurant. Hussein, the police official, said the security forces rescued many people who had been trapped inside the restaurant's hall, where a party was taking place when the attack started on Thursday. "We heard a heavy explosion followed by gunfire," said one man who had been trapped inside the restaurant. "I saw a militant fighter shooting indiscriminately on everybody. Then I locked myself inside a room until we were evacuated peacefully by the security forces." Volunteers carried bodies from the scene of the attack early Friday.
 

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