Hotel attacked in Somali city

MOGADISHU (HPD) — Gunmen attacked a hotel in a Somali city Sunday shortly after an explosives-laden vehicle blew up outside the hotel’s entrance, authorities said.

The incident occurred at the Tawakal Hotel in Kismayo, a port in Somalia.

Three of the assailants are still at the hotel and security forces have responded to the scene, authorities said.

The attack began when a suicide bomber in a car rammed the hotel gate and detonated the explosives, police officer Abshir Omar said.

Several businesses on that same street were destroyed, Omar told the HPD by phone.

Government officials and local elders were having lunch at the scene when the detonation occurred, the official added. So far no casualties have been reported.

Mohamed Nasi Guled, a Jubaland state police officer, said three attackers entered the hotel grounds. He swore that the security forces will be able to put an end to the episode.

The armed Islamist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. Al-Shabab, linked to al-Qaida, frequently strikes sites in Somalia.

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