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Two blasts, gunfire target hotel in Somalia’s Mogadishu

The first blast took place at 7:45 pm (1645 GMT), with a second erupting shortly afterwards

Published: Updated:

Two loud explosions rocked the center of Mogadishu on Friday followed by automatic gunfire, police and an AFP correspondent said, with Somalia’s Shabaab Islamists claiming they had attacked a hotel.

“We heard a loud explosion near the SYL hotel,” police official Mohamad Adan told AFP, saying there was also gunfire.

The first blast took place at 7:45 pm (1645 GMT), with a second erupting shortly afterwards in an attack which was claimed by the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab movement.

“Members of the mujahedeen have carried out an attack on the SYL hotel near the presidential palace. The attack began with a suicide bombing followed by gunfire,” the group said in a brief statement on its official Instagram account.