Al-Shabaab Militants Claim Responsibility for Somali Hotel Attack

© REUTERS / Feisal Omar Somali government forces drive their armoured personnel carrier (APC) at the scene of a suicide car explosion in front of the SYL hotel in the capital Mogadishu January 22, 2015
Somali government forces drive their armoured personnel carrier (APC) at the scene of a suicide car explosion in front of the SYL hotel in the capital Mogadishu January 22, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for an attack on a hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, local media reported Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the Al Jazeera network, a car carrying explosives rammed into a hotel at Mogadishu’s Lido beach Thursday evening, with militants opening fire at the location. A second explosion hit a nearby restaurant later.

Gunmen Attack Hotel in Somalia's Capital - Reports

The al-Shabaab group told the media outlet it was responsible for the attack, which was still continuing. Somali troops are storming the building while wounded people are being evacuated, according to the network.

Al-Shabaab fighters display weapons as they conduct military exercises in northern Mogadishu, Somalia - Sputnik International
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Other media outlet reported several casualties, as well as that the militants were holding people hostage.

The attack has been condemned by UN special envoy to the country Michael Keating and Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.

Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, has been staging attacks in Somalia in an attempt to create an Islamic state ruled by strict Sharia law.

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