Gunmen storm hotel in Mogadishu, Somali official says

Somalia

Mogadishu, Somalia : Gunmen stormed the Naso Hablod hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Saturday after exploding a car at the hotel gate, police Capt.

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.

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.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for Saturday’s assault, but the Somali National 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.

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.

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