Somalia: Gunmen kill four guards in hotel attack

BOSASSO, Somalia – Gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital of Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region on Wednesday, killing four guards, a senior official said.

In a nation awash with weapons, it was not immediately clear who staged the raid in the port city of Bosasso. The official blamed al Shabaab Islamists, but a spokesman for the group denied involvement.

“Three al Shabaab fighters stormed the International Village Hotel this morning. Four guards and two of the attackers died in the fighting,” Yusuf Mohamed, the governor of Bari region, told Reuters. He said the militants had not managed to enter the hotel, which is popular with foreigners.

Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, told Reuters: “We are not behind the Bosasso hotel attack. It is propaganda.”

Al Shabaab regularly launches attacks in Somalia, but tends to focus on the capital Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government.

Until 2011, the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab controlled most of Somalia including Mogadishu. Since then it has been pushed out of the capital and slowly forced out of other strongholds by African Union troops and Somali soldiers.

Source: Angola Press News Agency