MOSCOW (Sputnik) — At least two people have been killed after explosions and gunfire were heard outside a hotel in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu, freelance journalists based in Mogadishu reported via Twitter.
A car bomb went off near the entrance of the Maka Al Mukarama Hotel, popular with government officials and local lawmakers, according to preliminary reports.
A second blast was heard inside the hotel after up to 7 suspected al-Shabaab gunmen, wearing military uniforms, entered the hotel.
The militant group has since been reported to have claimed responsibility for the attack.
In December 2013, four al-Shabaab militants staged the Nairobi mall attack in Kenya that killed 67 people. The group said it undertook the attack in retaliation for the Kenya government's decision to send troops to Somalia.
In February 2015, al-Shabaab posted a video, urging attacks on shopping centers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Al-Shabaab, a clan-based militant group linked to international terrorist organization al-Qaeda, violently took over most of southern Somalia in 2006, expanding its insurgency and carrying out frequent gunfire and suicide attacks.