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UN deplores deadly attack on Somali hotel

UN deplores deadly attack on Somali hotel

A street in the Somali capital Mogadishu, April 4, 2010
The United Nations strongly condemned today’s attack on a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, which reportedly killed at least 30 civilians, including Members of Parliament.

According to media reports, the attack involved Somali insurgents dressed as police officers, who stormed the hotel and opened fire, and later blew themselves up.

“These callous, brutal acts, which were clearly aimed at causing maximum bloodshed to innocent people, defy rational comprehension,” Augustine P. Mahiga, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, said in a statement.

“Those who are responsible for these murders are only interested in causing destruction and misery to the Somali people.

“They will not, however, succeed in their violent campaign. The Somali people are yearning for peace which they deserve and they will be heard. The peace process will continue in Somalia despite the attempts by a violent minority to disrupt it.”

The Security Council also condemned the attack “in the strongest terms” and called for the perpetrators to be brought to swiftly to justice, in a statement read to the press by Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for August.

The 15-member body stressed the need to continue strengthening Somali security institutions and the importance of an inclusive dialogue in the peace process.

Violence in Mogadishu has led to some 3,000 conflict-related casualties so far this year and uprooted around 200,000 people from the city, which has been the scene of ongoing clashes between Government troops and Islamist militant groups, including Al-Shabaab.