The police disclosed that the Islamist militants have attacked a hotel used by government officials in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
Al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, which controls large swathes of the country, claimed responsibility for the attack, reveaIing in a statement that it was targeting the nearby presidential palace.
“We were shaken by a huge blast, followed by heavy exchange of gunfire,” said Ahmed Abdullahi, who lives close to the scene.
“We are just indoors and listening to gunfire.”
According to security officers, the assailants stormed the Villa Rose hotel, which is close to the presidential palace. It was not immediately clear how many attackers there were.
One of the police officers, Mohammed Abdi, said some government officials at the Villa Rose were rescued after using windows to escape.