Extremist group Al-Shabab has taken responsibility for the attack.
Qatar on Saturday condemned a targeted attack on a hotel based in the Somali capital of Mogadishu that claimed the lives of at least 12 people and wounded dozens more.
Militants gained access to the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu on Friday using explosives, before then seizing power and holding guests hostage overnight.
Two vehicle bombs, which were aimed at the hotel’s front gate and barrier, were used to gain entry to the building on Friday evening, a police official told Reuters.
Al-Shabab, an extremist organisation, claimed responsibility for the assault.
On Sunday, security forces confirmed the attack was over.
“The security forces have ended the siege now and the gunmen are dead, we’ve had no incoming gunfire from the building in the past hour,” an unnamed official told AFP news agency.
In a statement, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs re-emphasises the country’s intolerance towards violence and extremism irrespective of motives.
Heavy fighting on Friday night and Saturday consecutively left the hotel facing large-scale destruction. Videos showed explosions and smoke rising from the rooftop of the building.
“So far, we have confirmed 12 people, mostly civilians, died,” Mohammed, an intelligence officer who gave only one name, told Reuters on Saturday.
Doha also offered its condolences to the families of the victims and people in Somalia.
Mohammed said the shooters had kept an unspecified number of hostages on the facility’s second floor, prompting the law enforcement to abstain from utilising powerful weaponry.
Security personnel spent hours trying to break entry to the higher floors of the hotel as it was claimed that the gunmen had also blasted out the stairway.
According to the head of Mogadishu’s main trauma hospital, the hospital was caring for at least 40 wounded victims of both the hotel attack and a separate mortar attack on a different location in the country’s capital.
Al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, has been in long-running head locks with the federal government.
The armed group has managed to expand its influence into regions in Mogadishu which falls under the control of the government, while still maintaining control over a large portion of southern and central Somalia.
Friday’s attack marks the first to occur in the capital by the group since Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was elected in May.
Meaning “The Youth” in Arabic, the group first emerged as the extremist youth wing of the now-defunct Union of Islamic Courts in Somalia, which ruled Mogadishu in 2006 before Ethiopian forces drove them out.
Imposing radical views, the group oversees the stoning of women accused of adultery to death, as well as amputating the hands of thieves.
Ahmed Abdi Godane, the Al-Shabab leader at the time, “pledged obedience” to the late Ayman Al Zawahiri in a joint video that was broadcast in February 2012.
Reportedly, Al-Shabab also holds connections to other militant groups in Africa, including Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which is based in the Sahara desert.
Al-Shabab is currently led by Ahmad Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah.
The US has offered a reward of up to $6 million for information leading to Abu Ubaidah’s capture.
The government of Somalia pinned blame of the October 2017 massive truck explosion that claimed at least 500 lives in the nation’s capital on the group. The attack, reportedly, marked the deadliest bombing East Africa has ever faced.
Al-Shabab, however, did not claim responsibility for the bloody strike.