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The al-Shabab extremist group took responsibility for the attack on the Nasa-Hablod hotel in Mogadishu which is frequented by politicians and other members of the city’s elite.
Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said gunfire could be heard inside the hotel following the explosions which occurred minutes apart.
A Reuters witness heard a loud explosion and smoke rose over the scene. Ambulance sirens could be heard.
“They are fighting inside. So far we do not have casualty figures,” Major Abdullahi Aden, a police officer, told Reuters.
The attack comes two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street–the country’s worst-ever attack.
Al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu.
Since the blast two weeks ago, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has been visiting other countries in east Africa seeking more support for the fight against the extremist group.
A 22,000-strong multinational African Union force in Somalia is expected to withdraw its forces and hand over the country’s security to the Somali military by the end of 2020.
The U.S. military also has stepped up military efforts against al-Shabab this year in Somalia, carrying out nearly 20 drone strikes.