A suicide car bomber crashed his vehicle into a gate outside the Hotel Ambassador in Mogadishu this evening, before shots were heard at the building.
At least 10 people have been killed after suspected terrorists set off a car bomb and stormed a hotel in the Somalia capital, officials say.
A suicide car bomber crashed his vehicle into a gate outside the Hotel Ambassador – frequented by lawmakers and popular with Westerners – in Mogadishu this evening.
Witnesses then heard gunfire, with a cloud of smoke seen rising from the area.
Al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab militants quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.
“A suicide car bomber has targeted the Hotel Ambassador along Maka Al Mukaram Road, Colonel Ali Mohamed, a Mogadishu police officer, told Reuters.
“He rammed into the gate. It is too early to know casualties.anRadio Dalsan..A huge plume of smoke could be seen rising from the Ambassador Hotel.
Maka Al Mukaram is a major street that links another major artery, K4, to the presidential palace, and it is lined with hotels, restaurants and banks in the heart of the capital.
In other incidents, Somali security forces killed 17 al Shabaab fighters including the head of their intelligence unit and a man suspected to have orchestrated a deadly attack on a Kenyan university in 2015, government officials said.
Photos: mass shooting underway inside the Ambassador Hotel,somalia govt officials are full of inside the hotel pic.twitter.com/u6huukNvjY
— Hussein Mohamed (@HussienM12) June 1, 2016
This latest attack comes after a string of shocking terror violence carried out by al-Shabaab in recent months.
The Islamist group claimed responsibility for the Daallo Airlines blast which blew an alleged suicide bomber out of a hole in the side of a plane.
It comes after reports the Somalia plane bomber may have had some type of link to the airline or airport staff.
The National Intelligence and Security Agency has released footage apparently showing a passenger being handed a laptop by two men in the airport departure lounge.
One of the men is wearing a hi-vis security jacket.
The video shows the suspected bomber appearing to be handed a laptop packed with explosives before the failed terror attack.