On Wednesday, Somalia’s Al-Shabab raided a hotel in Bosasso, in the Puntland region, killing four guards. The Al-Shabab attackers also died in the process.
“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.
The governor added that the occupants of the hotel are safe, as the al-Shabab attackers did not go into the rooms.
“Fortunately, the attackers did not enter the rooms. The fighting took place inside the compound. A third fighter escaped and we are pursuing him. All the people in the hotel are safe.”
This follows another Al-Shabab attack which happened on Sunday in in Jamame, in the lower Juba region in southern Somalia. Four men who were accused of spying on the Islamic militants were beheaded in public after a trial in the Sharia court which was presided by the militants.
The four men had admitted to being spies although they did not state who they were affiliated with.
Al-Shabab has been in contention against the UN-backed government in Mogadishu.
In 2012 the militants pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and since 2006 when the group was formed, they have staged attacks on hotels usually with the use of car bombs. They were also the perpetrators of the infamous Garissa University attack in Kenya, as well as the West gate mall hostage situation in 2013 which caused the death of about 67 people.
Somalia’s presidential election which has been delayed and postponed since it’s initial date in August 2016 is finally underway. However, due to the Al-Shabab threat, the citizens will not vote for a new president directly.
Rather, 329 members of the lower and upper houses of parliament will vote. With over 20 people contesting the election, the eventual winner must gain more than two-thirds of the vote.
The election will reportedly hold at the Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu, according to Voice of America.