At Least Seven Dead in Al Shabaab Attack on Popular Somali Hotel

Somalia
At least seven people were killed on Friday when gunmen from the Islamist al Shabaab group stormed a popular hotel in the center of the Somali capital, police and the militants said. Here, a member of Somali security forces patrols the streets during an operation against militant Islamist group al Shabaab following the renewed killing of government officers and workers in the capital Mogadishu, February 18, 2015. Feisal Omar/Reuters

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - At least seven people were killed on Friday when gunmen from the Islamist al Shabaab group stormed a popular hotel in the center of the Somali capital, police and the militants said.

"We are behind the Hotel Maka Al Mukaram attack and fighting is still going on inside the hotel," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters.

Captain Ali Hussein, a police officer, said at least seven people had been killed and a dozen wounded in the attack. "Death toll is sure to rise," he said.