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Deadly Car bomb attack on Mogadishu hotel Claim Dozens

Somali government soldiers secure the scene after the attack at Dayah Hotel [Feisal Omar/Reuters]

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Sevaral people were killed after two car bombs exploded outside a popular Mogadishu hotel on Wednesday, and gunmen forced their way inside the building and opened fire, police said.

The attack, claimed by the Al-Qaeda-aligned Shabaab insurgent group, began when a car loaded with explosives rammed the gate of the Dayah Hotel near the Somali parliament and state house.

Gunmen then stormed the hotel and exchanged fire with security guards, according to police official Ibrahim Mohammed.

A second massive blast went off after ambulances and journalists had already rushed to the scene, leaving at least four reporters injured, including an AFP photographer who received shrapnel wounds to his shoulder and leg.

“So far we have counted about seven dead, most of them civilians and security guards. There are also many people who were wounded in the two blasts,” said Mohammed.

“Two gunmen were killed and the area is under control of security forces,” he said.

The Shabaab group claimed responsibility in a statement distributed on its Telegram messaging account.

“The mujahideen fighters have attacked a hotel and have managed to enter the hotel after detonating a car loaded with explosives,” read the statement.

The Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government of Somalia and regularly stages deadly attacks on state, military and civilian targets in the capital and elsewhere in the war-torn country.

Though the hotel attack is the deadliest so far in 2017 in December 2016 more than 20 people were killed when a truck laden with explosives was detonated near a military base close to the Mogadishu port.

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