At least nine people were killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday when a suicide bomber rammed a car into a hotel, police and witnesses said, in an attack claimed by militant Islamist group al Shabaab, APA reports quoting reuters.
Gunfire followed the attack on the Posh Hotel, the only venue with a discotheque in the capital.
Witnesses said the whole district was cordoned off by police, and that sporadic gunfire could still be heard.
"So far, we can confirm that nine people - mostly women who were hotel staff - have died," said Mohamed Hussein, another police officer.
Hussein told Reuters the suicide attacker rammed the explosive-laden car laden into the hotel's entrance. Another police officer said gunmen had stormed a restaurant adjacent to the hotel in central Mogadishu.
Al Shabaab, which has carried out a campaign of suicide bombings in its bid to topple the Somali government and impose its strict interpretation of Islam, claimed responsibility.
"A mujahid (fighter) with his suicide car bomb martyred himself after he rammed into the Posh Hotel, which is a nightclub. The operation goes on," Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group's military spokesman, told Reuters