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Au moins 15 dead after gunmen storm Hayat hotel and open fire in siege

AT least 15 people have been killed after Islamic militants stormed a hotel in Somalia’s capital.

The attackers blasted their way into the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu on Friday evening with two car bombs before opening fire in a horror siege.

Au moins 15 people have been killed in the siege

Au moins 15 people have been killed in the siegeCrédit: EPA
Gunmen stormed the Hayat Hotel in Somalia

Gunmen stormed the Hayat Hotel in SomaliaCrédit: Reuters

Somalia’s al Shabaab insurgents have claimed responsibility.

It’s feared the death toll could rise as authorities battle to take back control.

The detonations sent huge plumes of smoke over the busy junction on Friday night, and the sound of gunfire still crackled across the capital by 7am on Saturday.

Sounds of explosions punctuated the night as government forces tried to wrest control of the hotel back from the militants, witnesses said.

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Large sections of the hotel were destroyed by the fighting, ils ont dit.

Friday’s attack was the first major attack since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May.

The al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist group statements.

Al Shabaab has been fighting to topple the Somali government for more than ten years.

It wants to establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

The Hayat Hotel is a popular venue with lawmakers and other government officials.

There was no immediate information on whether any of them had been caught up in the siege.