MOGADISHU, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said Sunday increased terror attacks will not derail his administration's anti-terrorism efforts.
Speaking a day after Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for killing more than 20 people including lawmakers, security officers and regional officials at Nasa Hablod II hotel, the president said the insurgents were only out to create fear and despondency among Somalis.
"Al-Shabaab are terrified because of the unity created by our people during the hard time with determination to participate in the awareness to find peace in the country," he said.
The Somali leader who sent condolences to the citizens who died on Saturday's attack at the popular hotel near the presidential place vowed to enhance fighting militancy.
Meanwhile, security forces said they killed one Al-Shabaab militant and arrested three others after storming the hotel on Saturday evening.
A security officer told Xinhua that the attackers were five in number. One of them carried out the suicide car bomb attack at the hotel while the other was killed by the security forces.
He said among those killed are some government officials, a regional minister and former parliament member.
He said the forces managed to rescue a number of people including government officials and other politicians, who were trapped inside the hotel.
The security official who declined to be named told Xinhua that the security forces took more than 10 hours to end the siege at the hotel and fierce fighting between the militants and security forces continued into the night.
Southwest State Minister of Information Ugaas Hassan told Xinhua by phone that they lost the interior minister, his wife and three children in the hotel attack.
The attack happened as the country's leaders converged in Mogadishu for a high-level security meeting following the Oct. 14 truck bombing that killed over 358 people. The meeting kicks of on Sunday.