Police: Gunmen attack hotel in the Somalia

Posted at 12:02 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 14:16:59-05

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Gunmen from the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab forced their way into a hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, a police official said Friday.

Police told the Associated Press Friday night that nine civilians and five suspects were killed during the attack.

A suicide bomber rammed his car into the SYL hotel's entrance Friday evening and then some gunmen entered the premises after an exchange of gunfire with hotel guards, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

There was no immediate information on any casualties. Al-Shabab Islamic extremists claimed responsibility for the attack.

The SYL hotel, which is located across from presidential palace in Mogadishu, is frequented by government officials and business executives.

Despite being pushed out of Somalia's major cities and towns, al-Shabab continues to launch deadly guerrilla attacks across the Horn of Africa, and even across the border. Al-Shabab has carried out attacks on three of the five countries contributing troops to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

The al-Qaida-linked group has carried out many deadly attacks inside Kenya as well, including one in 2013 on the upscale Westgate Mall in the capital of Nairobi in which 67 people were killed.