Somalia hotel was the target of a suicide attack and gunfire, which has lead to the death of many.
Al-Shabab spokesman claims the group was responsible for the car bomb blast and gunfire attack at the hotel in the port city of Kismayo, Somalia.
Legislators and local elders were discussing an upcoming local election at the hotel when the attack occured, police said. The death toll is high according officials.
Armed group al-Shabab, which is believed to be linked to al-Qaeda and is trying to topple the Somali government, said it carried out a suicide attack at the hotel.
“First we targeted [the hotel] with a suicide car bomb and then armed ‘mujahideen’ [guerrilla fighters] stormed the hotel. We are still fighting inside the hotel,” said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab’s military operation spokesman.
“There are many dead bodies inside the hotel, including a dead white man. We control the hotel now.”
Local police officer said a gunfire between al-Shabab fighters and security forces that started after the blast lasted for about an hour and a half.
“… but we believe the fighters are still in the building. We have not confirmed the death toll, but there were many people inside, and there may be a high death toll,” police captain Abdullahi Isak told Reuters news agency by phone.
“A blast occurred in Hotel Asasey in the heart of Kismayo, followed by gunfire. Local elders and lawmakers were having a meeting there. It is too early to know if there are any casualties,” Major Mohamed Abdi, a police officer, told Reuters news agency from Kismayo on Friday.