Al Shabab terror group says its militants attacked the hotel Villa Rose, which is near the presidential palace in central Mogadishu, where a blast and gunfire were heard.

The hotel isn't far from the presidential palace in central Mogadishu, where a blast was heard, followed by gunfire.
The hotel isn't far from the presidential palace in central Mogadishu, where a blast was heard, followed by gunfire. (Reuters Archive)

The Al Shabab terrorist group has claimed responsibility for an unfolding armed attack on a hotel in the Somali capital.

Al Shabab said that its militants attacked the hotel Villa Rose, which has a restaurant popular with government and security officials, in a broadcast on its own radio frequency on Sunday.

Abdi Hassan, a government worker who lives near the hotel, told the Associated Press news agency that he believes several government officials were inside the hotel when the attack started.

Some were seen jumping the perimeter wall to safety while others were rescued, he said. 

The hotel isn't far from the presidential palace in central Mogadishu, where a blast was heard, followed by gunfire. 

There was no immediate word on any casualties. 

Last month at least 120 people were killed in two car bombings at a busy junction in Mogadishu. 

Al Shabab, which doesn't usually claim responsibility when its assaults result in a high civilian death toll, is believed to have carried out that attack, the deadliest since a similar attack at the same spot killed more than 500 five years ago.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies