Somalia’s al-Shabab armed group attacks hotel in Mogadishu | | Incredible Solutions Tech

At least three people were killed says security source, after a vehicle loaded with explosives crashed into entrance gate of Mogadishu’s Afrik hotel.

Somalia’s al-Shabab armed group has launched a car bomb attack on a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, killing at least three people, said a security source.

“So far three people, two of them civilians, and a security guard were confirmed dead, but the death toll could be higher,” said Mohamed Dahir a senior official with with the national security agency.

Six civilians were wounded in the attack on Sunday afternoon, he added.

Earlier, police officer Ali Hassan told DPA more than nine people, most of them civilians, were killed in the attack.

A vehicle loaded with explosives crashed into the entrance gate of the Afrik hotel, near Mogadishu’s strategic K-4 junction, police spokesman Sadiq Adan Ali had confirmed earlier.

A number of gunmen then quickly invaded the hotel, opening fire on staff and patrons inside, he said.

“The blast shook us and heavy gunfire followed,” said Ali Abdulahi, a shopkeeper in the area.

Witness Ahmed Nur told Reuters: “The blast made the hotel tremble as we sat inside and were talking. We were panicked, confused,” adding that he escaped via a ladder down a wall. “I jumped down and ran.”

Government forces responded to the attack and gunfire could be heard coming from the hotel. Police rescued many people from the hotel, including its owner and an army general, according to The Associated Press news agency.

Government forces responded to the attack and gunfire could be heard coming from the hotel [Said Yusuf Warsame/EPA]

Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked armed group that seeks to overthrow the country’s internationally-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack through its Andalus radio station.

“We know, they have changed nothing from their usual tactic, ramming explosives into a building and following up, assaulting with rifles,” said Ali, the police spokesman.

Al-Shabab frequently carries out bombings in its war on Somalia’s government, which is backed by the United Nations and African Union (AU) peacekeeping troops.

In a separate incident, at least eight children were killed and many others wounded when a bomb went off in the Golweyn area, about 40km (25 miles) north of the coastal town of Merca, some 120km (74 miles) south of Mogadishu.

A civilian wounded in the explosion taken to Madina hospital in Mogadishu [Feisal Omar/Reuters]

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