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At least 82 people evacuated as Somali forces battle militants in hotel attack

Security forces safely evacuated at least 82 people from SYL Hotel following an attack Tuesday evening which lasted into the night, police said.

Somali Police Force Deputy Commissioner Gen. Zakia Hussein said in a tweet Tuesday night the forces moved in swiftly and were able to safely move out 82 people out of the hotel as Special Forces fended off gunfire from the attackers.

The attack which came after several months of relative calm in Mogadishu took a different turn from previous attacks by Al-Shabaab-there was no vehicle loaded with explosives.

Instead, multiple sources have confirmed, the militants drove in the popular pickup used by Somali security forces all clad in uniforms like any other security officer.

Upon arrival at SYL, the attackers alighted from the back of the vehicle and started firing and it’s then that it became known they were militants disguised as security forces.

There was no immediate information about the casualties but heavy gunfire could still be heard some minutes to midnight.

SYL hotel is situated opposite the Presidential palace and near the Lower House of Parliament . Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

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