At least 13 people were killed in Somalia’s Mogadishu on Wednesday after gunmen crashed a car packed with explosives into the gate of Dayah hotel, Reuters reported. The hotel is said to be popular with politicians and government officials.
Islamist group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on a Telegram messaging account. “The mujahideen fighters have attacked a hotel and have managed to enter the hotel after detonating a car loaded with explosives,” read the statement by Al Shabaab, according to AFP.
The attackers stormed the hotel after the car bomb exploded and exchanged fire with security guards. A second blast went off after ambulances had arrived at the scene, leaving several injured, reported AFP.
The police said that all civilians were rescued, though the death toll may rise. The injured were taken to Madina hospital, where some of them were said to have “very serious” wounds. Dozens of people including lawmakers were said to have been inside the hotel at the time of the attack, a police official told AP.
Al Shabaab frequently attacks hotels and government buildings in Somalia in protest against the country’s government, which is backed by Western countries. On January 2, an explosion near the security checkpoint at Mogadishu’s international airport left three dead. The blast had occurred near the main base of the African Union peacekeeping mission, reported AP.