Militants have carried out an attack on a beachfront hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring nearly 30 others, officials said.
Officials and witnesses told VOA Somali that a car bomb exploded outside Elite hotel at Mogadishu’s Lido Beach. Moments later armed gunmen stormed the hotel.
Security forces have arrived the scene and are battling the militates holed up inside.
Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The head of the Somali journalist’s union Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu was among the witnesses sitting outside the Elite hotel when the explosion occurred.
He told VOA Somali that he arrived the hotel 15 minutes before the explosion along with his friend Abdirazak Abdi Abdullahi, who works for the state-controlled radio station. Abdullahi was killed by the militants after the first gunshots were fired, Moalimuu told VOA Somali.
Abdirazak Aden Osman, a security guard at a nearby hotel, said he heard a huge explosion which rocked the area.
“It was a massive explosion,” he said. “Glass from broken windows fell on us.”
Osman said there was a heavy gunfire after the militants entered the hotel.