UN urges lasting support for victims in Somalia attacks

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The UN envoy’s statement came after the Somali security forces ended a 30-hour siege at Hayat Hotel which had been attacked by al-Shabab militants…reports Asian Lite News

The United Nations senior envoy in Somalia on Sunday called for lasting support for the victims in Somalia amid a surge in attacks by al-Shabab militants across the country.

James Swan, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, urged that the victims and their families be provided both immediate and longer-term support, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The UN stands in solidarity with all Somali victims and survivors of terrorism as they heal from their trauma, along with their families and communities,” Swan said in a statement issued in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, to mark the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism.

He said the voices of survivors must be heard and acknowledged, and their rights upheld, noting that the weekend’s terrorist violence in Mogadishu is a stark reminder of just how vital this is.

The UN envoy’s statement came after the Somali security forces ended a 30-hour siege at Hayat Hotel which had been attacked by al-Shabab militants.

A police officer said the specialised security forces neutralised the attackers who had detonated explosives and blasted their way inside the popular hotel, a hangout for civilians, government officials, and lawmakers.

“The security forces used heavy weapons and explosives to kill all the attackers. The scene has been quiet for some time now and there is now gunfire coming from the hotel. The siege has ended,” the police officer who declined to be identified told Xinhua on Saturday night.

However, the residents said they could still hear sounds of gunfire inside the Hayat Hotel on Sunday morning.

Somali government has confirmed that 21 people were killed and several others, including security officers, wounded in the attack.

The Health Minister Ali Haji Adan on Sunday said 15 of the wounded persons sustained serious injuries and were in critical condition after the attackers who had detonated explosives and blasted their way inside the popular Hayat hotel and engaged the security forces in a gunfight that lasted 30 hours.

“Twenty-one people were killed and 117 others wounded in the heinous terrorist attack on Hayat hotel in Mogadishu”, Haji told the state-owned Somali National Television.

Earlier, Police Commissioner Abdi Hassan Mohamed told journalists in Mogadishu that the security forces ended al-Shabab’s siege of Hayat hotel in Mogadishu on Sunday morning.

Mohamed said the specialised security forces focused entirely on rescuing the people at the scene during the operations, noting that 106 people, including women and children were rescued.

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