MOGADISHU (Reuters) – A car bomb went off on Friday at a hotel in Somalia’s port city of Kismayu where local elders and lawmakers had been discussing an upcoming regional election and was followed by gunfire, police said, adding that the death toll could be high.
The militant Islamist group al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s central government, claimed responsibility for the attack and said its fighters had battled their way into the hotel after what they said was a suicide car bomb attack.
Police - Officer - Gunfire - Hour - Half
One police officer said the gunfire had died down about an hour and a half after the explosion.
“… but we believe the militants are still in the building. We have not confirmed the death toll, but there were many people inside, and there may be a high death toll,” police captain Abdullahi Isak told Reuters by phone.
Major - Mohamed - Abdi - Police - Officer
Major Mohamed Abdi, another police officer, had earlier told Reuters that local elders and lawmakers were meeting at the Hotel Asasey when the attack happened.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, said the militant group had been behind the...
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