Mohamed Moalimuu( in bandages) a former BBC Correspondent was wounded. Freelance journalist Hussein Mohamed lost three of his classmates (pictured) Mohamed Dek Shurie (on bloodied shirt) survived. A mother and her baby were among the dead. Three members of a family(pictured together) Abdikani Kheyre 24, his sisters Fardosa, 22 and Naimo, 15 died in the attack.
According to reports, a car laden with explosives rammed into the Beach View Hotel on Lido beach after which several al-Shabab fighters opened fire at the hotel.
"After the blast, I saw at least four armed men run into the hotel, shooting everyone inside and around the hotel," Mustafa Elmi, a Lido beach visitor, told DPA news agency.
"I managed to escape with minor wounds, but there were people who were shot dead on the spot," he added
A second explosion hit the nearby Lido Seafood restaurant, where several gunmen were reportedly holed up.
"The lights at Liido Seafood have just been switched off. Heavy gunfire is now ongoing," Abdirizak Mohamud, a freelance journalist at the scene, told Al Jazeera.The terrorists engaged in a gun battle with government security forces trying to force flush them out. Captain Mohamed Hussein who spoke from the scene of the attack said that the security forces finally took control of the restaurant just befor dawn.
"The operation ended at 3 am last night and at least 19 civilians were killed," police officer Osman Nur saidAl-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack in a broadcast on its radio late on Thursday.
photos of the victims...