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Hotel attack kills at least 31 in Somalia, Islamist group al Shabaab claiming responsibility

08-25-2010 07:28 BJT

MOGADISHU, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- At least 31 people including six government officials were killed on Tuesday in the Mogadishu hotel attack by gunmen, the Somali government said.

The Somali government said in a statement that at least 31 people including six members of parliament had been killed in the hotel attack.

It said the six members of parliament were inside the hotel when the attack occurred.

The attack also killed several government security personnel, it added.

The raid came as the heavy fighting between the Islamist fighters from Al Shabaab and the government forces enters its second day in the past two days left about almost 50 people dead and more than 150 others wounded.

The Islamist group on Tuesday afternoon claimed responsibility for the hotel raid.

Spokesman for al Shabaab told the media that his Mujajideen forces carried out an operation at Hotel Muna.

Islamist group Al Shabaab on Monday called on its fighters to wage "an all-out war" against Somali government forces and AU peacekeeping troops, saying that everyone should contribute in every possible way.

They have accuse the AU troops of invading Somalia and vowed to continue the fight against the peacekeepers until they withdraw from the war torn country.

Somalia had not had an effective central government since 1991.

The African Union (AU) envoy to Somalia has condemned Tuesday's suicide attack in the Mogadishu hotel.

"It's sad to learn that Armed Opposition Groups do not see the wisdom of giving peace a chance in their country," said Ambassador Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia. "Today's attack on innocent civilians clearly demonstrates the cowardly and barbaric mindset of those opposed to the peace process and cannot be condoned," Diarra said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The AU envoy said it was unfortunate that those opposed to the peace process continue to kill innocent civilians even during the fasting month of Ramadan which is one of the key pillars of the Islamic faith which they claim to profess. "I, on behalf of the African Union, would like to call upon all warring parties in the Somali Conflict to stop such barbaric attacks on innocent civilian population," Diarra said.

Diarra reiterated the AU's resolve to helping the people of Somalia find a lasting solution to the conflict and called on all warring parties to join the peace process.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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