Somalia attack: Gunmen storm Mogadishu hotel after blast

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Scene of bomb attack on Ambassador Hotel in Mogadishu on 1 June 2016Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe car bomb caused extensive damage to the hotel
Gunmen have stormed a hotel in the centre of the Somali capital Mogadishu, with reports of at least 10 dead.
The attackers entered the Ambassador Hotel on Maka al-Mukarama street after setting off a car bomb at the gates outside, witnesses said.
Politicians and government officials were believed to be staying at the hotel.
The al-Shabab militant group was quick to say it was behind the attack, which intelligence officials say is now over.
The BBC's Somali Service reporter Ibrahim Aden in Mogadishu says the explosion is one of the largest to hit the city and the scale of destruction is huge.
There are reports that about 40 people have been wounded, our reporter says.
Scene of bomb attack on Ambassador Hotel in Mogadishu on 1 June 2016Image copyrightAFP
Image captionPoliticians were said to have been staying in the hotel at the time of the attack
The head of the city's Amiin ambulance service has told the BBC the main Medina hospital is overcrowded.
"I was the first person to reach scene. The damage was enormous," Dr Abdulkadir Andirahman Haji Aden said.
"My brother and his son were among those injured. We are now in Medina hospital and it is overcrowded with wounded people. I have never seen something like this."
Wrecked cars burn at the scene of a terror attack at the Ambassador Hotel, Mogadishu, Somalia - Wednesday 1 June 2016Image copyrightAFP
Image captionGunmen entered the hotel after the car bomb exploded
Al-Shabab, which is battling the UN-backed government, was driven from Mogadishu in 2011 but still remains a potent threat and frequently carries out attacks in the city.
The government, with the help of African Union forces, is fighting the al-Qaeda-linked group to regain control of the country.
Earlier on Wednesday, the government announced it had killed Mohamed Kuno, the al-Shabab militant who led the attack on Garissa University in Kenya in April 2015 that killed 148 people.
He was one of 16 al-Shabab militants - four of them senior leaders - killed in an overnight raid on their convoy in Kismayo, a port city in southern Somalia.
Map of Somalia - updated September 2015


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