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New Delhi: India on Saturday strongly condemned the terror attack by militant group Al-Shabab at a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Friday and expressed condolences to the families of the victims, news agency ANI reported.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday issued a statement saying, “India strongly condemns the attack on Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu and expresses heartfelt condolences to the victims & families of this cowardly act of terrorism. India stands with the Government and people of Somalia in their fight against terrorism.”

According to reports, terrorist group Al-Shabab took the control of the building on Friday, that led to an intense gunfight between the security forces and gunmen of the jihadist group, claiming lives of 12 civilians.

“The security forces continued to neutralise terrorists who have been cordoned inside a room in the hotel building, most of the people were rescued but at least eight civilians were confirmed dead so far,” ANI quoted the security commander of the hotel, Mohamed Abdikadir as saying earlier in the day.

According to the witnesses, a second blast occurred outside the hotel a few minutes after the first, inflicting casualties on rescuers and members of the security forces and civilians who rushed to the scene after the first explosion.

It is to be noted that the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab armed group, that has been fighting for close to 15 years to topple the Somalian government, claimed responsibility for the terror attack. The jihadist group wants to establish its own rule in the country based on Islamic laws.

“A group of Al-Shabaab attackers forcibly entered Hotel Hayat in Mogadishu, the fighters are carrying out random shooting inside the hotel,” the group said in a brief statement on a pro-Shabab website, reported AFP.

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