Somali Minister for Environment Mr. Buri Mohammed Hamza was among the 15 people killed in Saturday’s Al-Shabaab attack on Nasa Hablod Hotel in Mogadishu, according to a report by the BBC.
Many, including the UN envoy in Somalia, have paid tribute to the slain minister saying he was a passionate supporter of the fight against environmental degradation.
The UN representative in Somalia Mr. Michael Keating has condemned what he termed the “atrocious attack.” Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sent condolences to Buri’s family.
At least 15 people were confirmed dead and 20 others seriously wounded in the attack. According to eyewitnesses, a suicide bomber blew up a car believed to have been fitted with explosives at the entrance of the hotel. A few seconds later, another explosion went off as the attackers made their way into the hotel.
“They were shooting at everyone they could see. I escaped through the back door,” eyewitness Ali Mohammud told Al Jazeera.
Mogadishu police captain Ali Ahmed also told Al Jazeera that the siege lasted for several hours until security agents finally managed to neutralize three of the attackers inside the hotel.
However, there have been conflicting reports about the number of militants involved in the attack with some eye witnesses saying they were four.
Somali-based terror group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack. Nasa Hablod Hotel is said to be a preferred spot for local politicians and foreign dignitaries.
Saturday’s attack comes less than a month after another deadly attack on Hotel Ambassador, which left at least 16 people dead and more than 55 others wounded.
Two Somali Members of Parliament died in the June 2nd attack.
This followed another attack in February, when Al-Shabaab attackers detonated a car laden with explosives outside a popular park in Mogadishu. The attack claimed nine lives and left several people injured.
In January, the terror group attacked a beachfront hotel, killing at least 17 people.
Despite numerous assaults by AMISOM troops, the terror group continues to stage deadly attacks in Somalia and neighboring countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia.