Somali insurgents disguised as police officers stormed a Mogadishu hotel on Tuesday morning and opened fire, killing at least 33 people, including six Somali lawmakers, in one of the deadliest attacks in months, Somali officials said.
A fierce room-by-room battle then broke out between the attackers and government forces, who rushed to the three-story hotel and surrounded it by noon, pushing the gunmen to the upper floor. According to witnesses, several lawmakers tried to lock themselves in their rooms, but they were methodically hunted down.
Gunmen also bolted themselves in hotel rooms and were seen shooting out the windows. At least one of the attackers was a woman who was wearing an explosive vest, Somali officials said, and once she was cornered, she killed herself, New York Times reports.
The attack on the Muna Hotel raised the two-day toll to at least 70 people, a high number even by Mogadishu's violent standards. Fighting that rocked Mogadishu on Monday killed 40 people, health officials said.
Somalia's deputy prime minister told The Associated Press that 19 civilians, six members of parliament, five security forces and two hotel workers were killed in the attack — a total of 32. Two attackers also were killed, said Abdirahman Haji Aden Ibi, the deputy prime minister, according to The Associated Press.