HE the President of Somalia’s Statement on the Terrorist Attack on the SYL Hotel in Mogadishu: “al-Shabaab Seek To Thrive On Headlines: Tomorrow We Will Give You Better Headlines”

HE the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, today spoke to the media on a terrorist attack that took place at the SYL Hotel in central Mogadishu this afternoon. HE the President spoke to the media from the hotel itself.

HE the President stated: “The security forces have confirmed that, at 2.45 PM two terrorists crashed a car into the gate of the SYL Hotel in central Mogadishu and then detonated an explosive device, killing the driver and two guards. I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the two guards who were killed in the attack. The driver’s accomplice was shot and killed by members of the Somali security forces who were in the area and responded quickly to the incident.

“The attack coincided with a meeting in the hotel between Somali government staff and the visiting Turkish delegation ahead of tomorrow’s visit of the Turkish President. There were no further casualties and the Federal Government of Somalia has already launched an investigation into the attack. That is all the information that I can share with you at the moment but I will update you as more details become available.”

HE the President continued: “As we have pointed out on many occasions, these days al-Shabaab seek to thrive in the headlines and in our imaginations. But they have little real presence in real terms, like providing security or services or education or jobs. I am sad, though, that a young man had to give his life for a headline that will be forgotten by tomorrow morning. It is a tragic waste and I condemn the leaders who exploit young men to the extent that they commit acts such as this.”

HE the President concluded: “But rest assured, the momentum is with the Federal Government of Somalia and with the people of Somalia, not with the terrorists. The acts of the terrorists are becoming more and more irrelevant by the day, as today’s incident proves – but we must still be watchful, and I remind the citizens of their role in securing the country. And tomorrow we will welcome a great friend of Somalia, the President of Turkey, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, to Mogadishu and we will provide you with considerably better headlines.”

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