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Five dead in Mogadishu hotel attack claimed by Shabaab

The Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement distributed through online social networks

Published: Updated:

At least five people were killed in an attack on Saturday on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu that was swiftly claimed by al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab militants, police said.

“What we know is that there were at least five victims, including three security guards, and that six others were injured,” police official Ibrahim Mohamed said.

The Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement distributed through online social networks.

The assault was led by a suicide attacker driving a car laden with explosives, the Shabaab said in a statement distributed through the Telegram smartphone app.

The attack began at 4:30 pm (1330 GMT) with a powerful blast followed by heavy gunfire, an AFP journalist and a witness said.

At 7:00 pm, as night fell in Somalia, sporadic gunfire could still be heard, witnesses said.

The Shabaab swiftly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement on the Telegram smartphone app that the jihadist gunmen had “managed to fully take control of the hotel.”

“The attack started with a heavy blast carried out by a brother who drove a car loaded with explosives. Gunmen fought their way into the hotel, and we believe that casualties were inflicted in the enemy’s ranks,” the Shabaab said.