Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and delegates reached Barawe town in Lower Shabelle region to attend the funeral service of the State Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office for Environment, Buri Mohamed Hamza was killed on Saturday.
Hamza was killed in the attack on Nasa Hablod Hotel that was swiftly claimed by al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab militants.
The security of the town, particularly the area where funeral service is held, was tightened by security forces.
Similarly, Somali parliament speaker, Mohamed Sheikh Osman, deputy prime minister, Mohamed Omar Arte are attending the funeral service of the late minister.
Buri Mohamed Hamza was born in Somalia and served as state minister for the environment.
The assault, the latest in a series by the Islamist group targeting hotels and restaurants, began when a suicide bomber detonated a car laden with explosives outside the building.
Gunmen then stormed the Naasa Hablood hotel and gunfire rang out for several hours, witnesses said, before the authorities declared the attack over.
“The attack started with a heavy blast carried out by a brother who drove a car loaded with explosives. Gunmen fought their way into the hotel, and we believe that casualties were inflicted in the enemy’s ranks,” Al-Shabaab said.
He died when his room at Mogadishu’s Nasa-Hablod hotel collapsed from the force of the powerful car bomb.
In a statement Sunday, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud also condemned the attacks, which have raised concerns about the security of hotels in the seaside capital. Mogadishu has been targeted by al-Shabaab in recent years.
“The trend and lethality of such attacks suggest how vulnerable the security of hotels and the city, in general, are now,” Mohamed Sheikh Abdi, a Somali political analyst told the Associated Press.
Among those killed in the attacked were three Goobjoog news staff.