Al-Shabab militants stormed a hotel in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, on Friday night, killing at least 12 people.
According to the police, the attackers set off two explosives outside the hotel before breaking in and starting to shoot.
On Saturday, reports of ongoing gunfire and explosions were made as security forces fought an unkown number of gunmen who were still inside holding hostages.
Numerous visitors and employees have been saved.
According to Mohammed, an intelligence officer who only gave his first name to Reuters new agency, “so far we have confirmed 12 people, mostly civilians, died.”
A website connected to al-Shabab had earlier claimed that a group of terrorists had “forcefully entered” the hotel and were “carrying out random shooting.”
According to reports, federal employees frequently congregate at The Hayat.
According to Abdikadir Abdirahman, the head of Mogadishu’s Aamin ambulance services, nine people were hurt and taken from the hotel.
Dr. Mohamed Abdirahman Jama, the director of Mogadishu’s primary trauma hospital, later told news agency AFP that the hospital was treating at least 40 victims of both the hotel attack and a separate mortar attack on a different part of the city.
Unconfirmed pictures making the rounds on social media appeared to show smoke coming out of the hotel as shouting and loud bangs are audible.
Two car bombs were used in the initial attack on the hotel, a police officer said in a statement to Reuters.
He explained, “One hit a barrier close to the hotel, and then the other hit the gate of the hotel.
Al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, and the federal government have been at odds for a very long time.
The group is in charge of a large portion of southern and central Somalia, but it has also managed to exert influence over regions that are under the control of the Mogadishu-based government.
Concerns have been raised about al-potential Shabab’s new strategy as a result of fighters connected to the organisation attacking targets along the Somalia-Ethiopia border in recent weeks.
The attack on Friday was the group’s first in the capital since the election of Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, in May.