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.

MP/PR

News Code 192798

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