1 Nov 2015

Hotel attacked by gunmen in Mogadishu

7:56 pm on 1 November 2015

At least eight people have been killed in a suicide attack on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

An ambulance arrives as a car bomb detonated in a crowded restaurant located near the city's Central Hotel in Somalia, killing at least five people in Somali capital Mogadishu, on April 21, 2015.

An ambulance in Mogadishu, Somalia (file photo). Photo: Nour Gelle Gedi / Anadolu Agency / AFP

Gunmen used a vehicle packed with explosives to blast their way into the Sahafi hotel compound before storming the building, police said.

African Union troops and government forces say they have regained control of the hotel after a fierce gun battle.

The hotel is popular with Somalia's members of parliament.

A website associated with al-Shabab claimed responsibility, saying that fighters from the al-Qaeda linked group had infiltrated the hotel after an explosion.

The attack comes a day after deadly clashes between jihadist fighters and African Union (AU) troops in the Bakool region near the border with Ethiopia.

The AU is helping the government battle al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda.

Security in Somalia has improved, but al-Shabab still attacks Mogadishu regularly.

The militants have also targeted neighbouring countries, killing almost 150 people in an assault on Garissa University College in Kenya in April.

- BBC

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