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Al shabab claims responsibility for attack on two hotels in Somali capital Mogadishu


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The Islamist militant group al-Shabab has said it was behind the attack on two hotels in the Somali capital Mogadishu which left at least five people dead, BBC reported Friday afternoon.

According to reports, a security operation has now ended at one of the hotels, near the parliament building. The BBC's Moalimu Mohammed, in the city, says the two hotels were busy with people breaking their Ramadan fast when they were attacked at 18:10 local time (15:10 GMT). BBC says the two hotels - the Wehliya and Siyaad - are among the best known in the city. The Siyaad is near the presidential palace, while the Wehliya is close to parliament.

However, BBC reported conflicting accounts,

"Car bombs rammed into the hotels named Wehliya and Siyaad. Then our fighters stormed in," an al-Shabab spokesman told Reuters. Some reports say fighting is ongoing, but Somalia's National Intelligence & Security Agency  that the attacks had been foiled.

There was also a mortar attack on a base of the African Union (AU) force in the city at the same time, according to BBC.

Meanwhile, the AU is helping the government battle al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda. Security in Somalia has improved, but al-Shabab still attacks Mogadishu regularly.

BBC says the militants have also targeted neighbouring countries, killing almost 150 people in an assault on Garissa University College in Kenya in April.

 

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