Gunmen storm hotel in Mogadishu; 15 killed, police say

Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN)[Breaking news update, published at 1:01 p.m. ET]

At least 15 people are dead and 25 others are injured as a result of Saturday's car bombing and gun attack at a hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, according to Somali police Col. Mohamed Abdulkadir.

Most of those killed and injured were civilians who were passersby and customers of nearby shops and a petrol station, police said. Fighting still is happening inside the hotel, Somali police Capt. Aden Dahir said.

Gunmen stormed the Naso Hablod hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Saturday after detonating a car filled with explosives at the hotel gate, police Capt. Aden Dahir told CNN.

The hotel is frequented by Somali government officials, lawmakers and security officers, Dahir said. The blast was followed by a gun battle inside the hotel.

There was no word on casualties but video on Twitter showed an ambulance, sirens blaring, speeding away from scene amid the sound of gunfire.

 Osman Yusuf @Osman_Yusuf_
#BREAKING : Suspected Al shabaab militants storm Hotel Nasa Hablood. #Mogadishu #Somalia

UPDATE : heavy exchanging fire ongoing & ambulance rushing casualties to the hospital. #Mogadishu #Somalia
7:56 PM - 25 Jun 2016

  The attack comes three weeks after suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen set off an explosion and stormed another popular Mogadishu hotel, killing at least 13 people, according to security officials. Three attackers were also killed.

The June 1 siege occurred at the Ambassador Hotel, a popular spot for Somali politicians and Westerners.

Two members of parliament, Mohamed Mohamud Gurre and Abdullahi Jama, were among those killed at the Ambassador, the Somali National News Agency reported at the time. The siege ended early the next day.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for Saturday's assault, but the Somali news agency blamed Al-Shabaab militants.

The group has used the tactic before in several assaults, including an attack at the Sahafi Hotel in the capital last year that left 15 people dead.

  Osman Yusuf @Osman_Yusuf_
#BREAKING : Suspected Al shabaab militants storm Hotel Nasa Hablood. #Mogadishu #Somalia
7:36 PM - 25 Jun 2016

The militants want to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state.
The group has been blamed for attacks in Somalia that have killed international aid workers, journalists, civilian leaders and African Union peacekeepers.

Source: cnn

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