A band of heavily-armed terrorists, claiming to be a part of Somalia-based Islamist group Al-Shabab, are storming the SYL Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, according to local reports. The luxury hotel is frequented by government officials and politicians.
The eyewitness are saying that heavy gunfire can still be heard within the premises, though it’s not clear how many people are inside. Some also said the attackers had donned Somali security personnel uniforms.
“We thought they were police but they started hurling grenades and firing us when they neared and so we exchanged fire at the gate of the hotel,” a police officer told Reuters.
One MP who escaped from the scene told others there were casualties, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Somali security forces claim to have killed three of the attackers and say they managed to evacuate officials from the hotel as the attack got underway.
Al-Shabab targeted the hotel in a devastating car bomb attack in February 2016, killing 14 people including five militants and causing enormous damage to nearby buildings.