Somalia hotel under seige as ‘explosions and gun fire’ heard

moke rises from an area hit by an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia March 7, 2019. (Twitter)
A man passes in front of the rubbles of the popular Medina hotel of Kismayo on July 13, 2019, a day after at least 26 people, including several foreigners, were killed and 56 injured in a suicide bomb and gun attack claimed by Al-Shabaab militants. – A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into the Medina hotel in the port town of Kismayo before several heavily armed gunmen forced their way inside, shooting as they went, authorities said. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP) (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

A heavy exchange of gunshots has been heard near the SYL Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, with suspected militants thought to be fighting government security officials, according to local reports on social media.

A Somali police officer said at least five heavily armed men attacked security forces stationed outside the presidential palace in what appears to be an attempt to storm the heavily fortified residential and office complex, according to Associated Press.

Security forces repelled the assault and killed at least three of the attackers while gunfire could be heard in the area nearby, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

Two of the attackers have moved to positions at the nearby parking lot of the SYL hotel amid gunfire. They’ve not managed to penetrate the hotel compound and gunfight is still going on, said Hussein.

SYL Hotel is popular among politicans and Somali expatriates, and is located close to the Presidential Palace.

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