NBC News has the casualty figure at nine now. Islamic jihadists appear to be operating more brazenly and brutally than ever — time to deflect the public’s attention with a new series of reports on “Islamophobia.”
“Militants Take Hostages in Deadly Attack on Mogadishu Hotel,” by Mohammed Ibrahim, New York Times, March 27, 2015:
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Armed assailants attacked a Mogadishu hotel on Friday, leaving at least seven people dead, including a Somali ambassador, and seizing an unknown number of hostages, officials and witnesses said. The Shabab militant Islamist group, which routinely targets government and business sites in the Somali capital, claimed responsibility.
The attack began when a suicide car bomber detonated explosives at a rear gate of the Maka al-Mukarama Hotel, which is popular with government officials and foreigners, around 4 p.m., witnesses said. Gunmen quickly overpowered security guards and took control of the hotel before an elite police antiterrorism unit stormed the hotel compound and rescued most of the hostages, said Mohamed Yusuf, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Security. As of Friday night, it was unclear how many hostages were still trapped inside the hotel.
“The operation still continues,” Mr. Yusuf said. “Most of the hotel complex is under control and people have been rescued, and we will release detailed information once the operation is completed.”
Initial reports said at least seven people had been killed, although the exact number could not be independently verified. It was unclear how many of the dead were civilians and how many were militants. Among the victims was the Somali ambassador to Switzerland, Yusuf Mohamed Ismail, who died of wounds sustained in the attack, according to health officials….