Up to 15 dead, several hostages after gunmen blast Mogadishu hotel

MOGADISHU, Somalia, June 25 (UPI) — A group of gunmen rushed into a hotel in Mogadishu after a large explosion, leaving as many as 15 dead and taking several people hostage.

Police Col. Mohamed Abdulkadir told CNN up to 25 people were also wounded in the car bombing and gun attack on the Nas Hablod hotel Saturday. Many of the victims are civilians from the surrounding area, police said.

The BBC reported the Somali army is attempting to reclaim the hotel after gunman stormed into the building firing indiscriminately, killing at least seven people and leaving at least 10 wounded, including three security guards. It is unclear exactly how many people have died in the attack.

The attack on the hotel in the center Somalia’s capital city began with a large blast from a suicide bomb that a group of gunman swarmed the building shortly following the blast, leading to an ongoing gun battle in side the hotel.

There were also reports of a second blast inside the hotel, and it is unclear how many gunman and hotel guests were inside the building at the time of the attack.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but a similar attack was carried out by Al-Shabaab on another popular Mogadishu hotel on June 1 killing at least 15 people. The attack on the Ambassador hotel also featured the detonation of explosives outside the hotel followed by a group of gunmen rushing inside.

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