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Somalia hotel siege ends leaving eight dead

Rescuers prepare to carry a body after a landslide killed several others

Somali forces have ended a more than 20-hour battle to regain control of a hotel seized by militants in Mogadishu on Sunday evening.

At least 15 people were killed, including eight civilians, during the siege, police say.

Militants from the al-Shabab group, which said it was behind the attack, had been holed up in one of the rooms in the Villa Rays hotel.

Witnesses told the BBC they heard explosions and gunshots at the hotel.

Somali police have said that 60 people were rescued from the hotel, which is near the presidential palace.

As well as the eight civilians who died during the siege, one soldier was killed as well as six al-Shabab fighters, police spokesperson Sadik Dodishe confirmed.

The Villa Rays hotel, which has also been referred to as Villa Rose, is popular with government officials and several ministers have confirmed being rescued.

At least one minister, Mohamed Ahmed, is reported to have been injured while another, Environment Minister Adam Aw Hirsi, told reporters he had survived the attack.



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