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MOGADISHU,– The international community has roundly condemned the deadly attack carried out by Al-Shabaab militants on the Ambassador Hotel, Mogadishu as death toll rose to 16.

In separate statements received on Friday, the UN Security Council, the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Britain and the U.S. including the UN top envoy in Mogadishu vowed to stabilize Somalia despite increased attacks from the militants.

The UN Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, stressing those responsible for these killings should be held accountable.

“The Council further stressed the need to take measures to prevent and suppress the financing of Al-Shabaab, and any other terrorist group in Somalia,” the statement said.

The 15-nation Council reiterated their determination to support the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia, underlining that neither this nor any other terrorist attack would weaken that determination.

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gates of the hotel on Wednesday, killing 16 people so far and injuring over 30 others.

Between four and six militants then entered the premises, exchanging fire with hotel security guards and Somali security forces until the situation was brought under control earlier Friday morning.

Among the dead were two members of Somalia’s Federal Parliament, Abdullahi Jama and Mohamud Mohamed Gure, as well as other prominent individuals.

The incident occurred only days before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on the hotel, which is frequented by Somali politicians.

The deceased included pedestrians who just happened to be in the vicinity of the hotel when the blast took place.

In its statement, the U.S. government vowed to standby Somalia in its fight against the Al-Qaida linked group, which claimed responsibility for the attack.

“This attack exemplifies the menace that Al-Shabaab poses to all Somalis. The U.S. will continue to work closely with Somali political leaders, the Somali National Army, and AMISOM forces to defeat Al-Shabaab,” said a statement by the U.S. mission to Somalia.

The attack on the hotel came hours after Somali officials said a top commander of militant group Al-Shabaab including three other militants were killed in Wednesday night military operation.

Mohamed Mohamud, better known as Dulyadeyn, allegedly masterminded the April 2015 attack on Kenya’s Garissa University College that left 148 people dead, nearly all of them students.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond condemned the Al-Shabaab attack which has sparked tension in the restive capital.

“This week’s Al-Shabaab attack is yet another reminder of the importance of the work we are doing to support Somalia and to increase security across the region.”

The Foreign Secretary arrived in Mogadishu on Thursday having spent the previous day in Addis Ababa in discussions with the Ethiopian government and the African Union.

He encouraged the Ethiopian government to maintain its commitment to the Somali Federal Government with a view of cementing gains made so far.

The East Africa’s bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) condoled with those who lost their families in the tragedy but vowed to step up counter-terrorism measures in Somalia.

“The numerous attacks on innocent civilians in Somalia must be condemned. We grieve with those who have lost their loved ones and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Somali people, the Somali government and the African continent and pledge to continue the fight against terrorism,” IGAD Executive Secretary Engineer Mahboub Maalim said.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) in Somalia, Michael Keating said the incident was a stark reminder of the ruthless tactics employed by violent extremists.

“After decades of war, the vast majority of Somalis reject the resolution of differences through violence, death and destruction. The attack happened as the country prepares for an electoral process scheduled to take place later this year,” Keating said in a statement.

“This is a despicable act. It may be intended by those who did it to be a show of strength. Its effect is the opposite. Killing civilians is an act of desperation, political inability and moral bankruptcy,” he added.



Source: Name News Network