Incoming reports inform that at least three people have been killed and some hostages taken after a bomb blast at a hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu claimed by the dreaded militant group al-Shabab went off.
Eyewitnesses say the militants laid siege at the hotel before a loud explosion was heard followed by gunfire on Wednesday.
A huge plume of smoke could be seen rising from the Ambassador Hotel as gunmen remained inside.
The al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group al-Shabaab swiftly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had detonated a car bomb.
“A suicide car bomber has targeted the Hotel Ambassador along Maka Al Mukaram Road. He rammed into the gate. It is too early to know casualties,” Colonel Ali Mohamed, a police officer, told Reuters.
Another police officer, Major Ibrahim Hassan, said fighters were believed to be inside the hotel, adding: “So far we have confirmed three people have died and a dozen others wounded.”
The attack follows a previous incident in March last year, when al-Shabaab militants stormed the Makka al-Mukarama hotel, starting a hostage crisis that lasted for several hours and left more than 20 people dead.
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