Al Shabaab gunmen attacked a hotel in Somalia’s capital near the president’s residence and fighting was still going on, police and the militant group said.
Abdi-Aziz Abu Mus’ab, al Shabaab’s military spokesman, confirmed the group was behind the attack and said its fighters were inside the compound of the hotel, which is popular with government officials and lawmakers.
A Somali police officer says at least five heavily armed men attacked security forces stationed outside the presidential palace in what appears to be an attempt to storm the heavily fortified residential and office complex.
Two of the attackers have moved to positions at the nearby parking lot of the SYL hotel amid gunfire. They’ve not managed to penetrate the hotel compound and gunfight is still going on, said Hussein.
Somali lawmaker Mahad Salad told the reporters that militants are attacking the hotel. He says some people have been rescued from the building by security forces.
The hotel has twice been the target of attacks by al-Shabab militants in recent years. Al-Shabab has already claimed responsibility for this latest attack.