At least four al-Shabab assailants attacked the Asasey Hotel Friday evening, beginning with a suicide car bomb at the entrance gate and followed by an assault by gunmen who stormed the hotel, which is frequented by politicians, patrons and lawmakers.
Somali commandos backed by U.S. forces raided two al-Shabab checkpoints at which the extremists extort money from commercial vehicles, killing several fighters, Somali intelligence officials said Wednesday.
The U.S. Africa Command statement said two new strikes killed six fighters and destroyed a weapons cache on Wednesday near Harardere. That al-Shabab-controlled community last month was targeted by the deadliest U.S. airstrike in almost a year, with dozens of extremists killed.
U.S. and Somali commandos seized three men thought to be commanders with the al-Shabab extremist group during a deadly raid in a village in Lower Shabelle region, Somali intelligence officials said Thursday.
The Islamic State group’s growing presence in Somalia could become a “significant threat” if it attracts fighters fleeing collapsing strongholds in Syria and Iraq, experts say, and already it seems to be influencing local al-Shabab extremists to adopt tactics like beheadings.