Attackers seized control of a popular hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, following two car bomb blasts and gunfire.
Abdikadir Abdirahman, director and founder of Mogadishu’s Aamin ambulance services, said late on Friday so far nine wounded people were carried away from the hotel.
“Two car bombs targeted Hotel Hayat. One hit a barrier near the hotel and then the other hit the gate of the hotel. We believe the fighters are inside the hotel,” said a police officer, who gave his name only as Ahmed.
Two intelligence officers, who did not want to be identified, also confirmed the incident.
The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab armed group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.
The assault triggered a fierce gunfight between security forces and gunmen who were still holed up inside the building, said security official Abdukadir Hassan