Somali troops today took full control of a hotel that extremist gunmen stormed and occupied for more than 12 hours following a suicide bombing. At least 17 people died and dozens were wounded. The gunfire has stopped and security agents have accessed the whole building, said senior police officer Capt. Mohamed Hussein. He had earlier said the gunmen were believed to have occupied the third and fourth floors of the the Maka Al-Mukarramah hotel in the capital Mogadishu.
Hussein said security forces found four more bodies in the hotel today, plus nine dead yesterday. Four more people died in the hospital. There was no immediate indication of how many of the dead were attackers, all of whom were killed, according to Hussein. Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked extremist group that has carried out many attacks in Somalia, claimed responsibility for the assault on the hotel, which is popular with Somali government officials and foreigners. Al-Shabab controlled much of Mogadishu between 2007 and 2011, but was pushed out of Somalia's capital and other major cities by African Union forces. (Read more Somalia stories.)