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Deaths in Mogadishu hotel siege

A Somalian diplomat was among at least 20 people who died when Al Shabaab militants launched an attack on a hotel in Mogadishu.

The Maka al-Mukarama Hotel was targeted by a car bomb on Friday evening, before being stormed by armed suicide bombers, who all died in the attack.

Security forces retook the hotel on Saturday morning. Somalia's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Yusuf Mohamed Bari Bari died in hospital, after being admitted with serious injuries.

Information Minister Mohamed Abdi Mareye led a government delegation to the scene on Saturday morning.

Mr Mareye said, “Five to six armed men from the terrorist organization attacked the facility with a vehicle laden with explosives, followed by another vehicle that brought them reinforcement. They planned on capturing the hotel for days, just like the way they did with the Westgate Mall in Nairobi."

The top United Nations official in Somalia along with the members of the UN Security Council have strongly condemned the attack.

"I condemn yesterday's terrorist attack in Mogadishu in the strongest terms and am appalled by the complete disregard for the lives of innocent civilians shown by the attackers,” said Nicholas Kay, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).