Car bomb explodes near hotel in Somalia

TEHRAN, Oct. 23 (MNA) – A car laden with explosives rammed into the gate of a hotel in the center of Somalia's port city of Kismayu followed by gunfire, a police officer and a resident said on Sunday.

The state-run Somali National Television said on Twitter that security forces were dealing with a "terrorist incident" at the hotel, which al Shabaab terrorist group has taken responsibility for.

"There is a blast at Tawakal hotel and there is gunfire being heard," Mohamed Nur, a police captain, told Reuters from Kismayu.

Details of the casualties and damages of the incident have not yet been reported.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

Witnesses said a huge blast was heard before the gunfire started.

"The security forces have besieged the scene," Farah Ali, a shopkeeper in Kismayu, told Reuters.

Al-Shabaab has repeatedly attacked government troops and African Union peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and has carried out several operations in other parts of Africa.


News Code 192798


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