Mogadishu restaurant siege ends, 19 civilians killed

New York [USA], June 15 : After an 11-hour-long battle, Somalian security forces have finally ended the siege at a Mogadishu restaurant early Thursday.

The seige, however, resulted in the loss of 19 civilian lives. The Voice of America (VOA) quoted the commander of the police in Hodan district, Major Abdifatah Bashir Ali, as saying that Somali special security forces launched a major operation just before 6 a.m.

local time and were able to overpower the militants who were holed up in the restaurant. According to the report, five special forces members also died during a fierce gun battle with the al-Shabab militants in the restaurant.

Mogadishu ambulance services said they evacuated 26 people wounded in the attack. The attack started Wednesday evening with an explosion from a car bomb that detonated outside two restaurants, Pizza House and Posh Treats, causing massive damage.

Witnesses said the gunmen entered Posh Treats and proceeding to Pizza House where they put up a fierce resistance against the security forces who were trying to end the siege.

The al-Shabab militant group claiming responsibility for the attack, said on its website, that they have been targeting restaurants "because there are women (inside) who sell their bodies for money." There has been no independent confirmation on their accusation.

Source: ANI