Gunmen storm beachfront hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu

Unknown gunmen stormed the Elite Hotel in Mogadishu after a car bomb exploded. COURTESY: Social Media

Armed men stormed a beachside hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Sunday after a car bomb, believed to be targeting the establishment, exploded.

A police officer confirmed that there had been an explosion at the Elite Hotel in Lido beach which is usually frequented by government officials, government workers and people from the diaspora.

“There was a car bomb blast targeting Elite Hotel at Lido beach. There is heavy gunfire in the building,” Adan Ibrahim, the officer, told AFP.

An eyewitness told Reuters that the government has deployed security forces near the beach.

There are no confirmed reports on any casualties, while no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Al-Shabaab, the Islamist group which operates in Somalia, however, has frequently carried out such attacks in the past.

Al-Shabaab has waged a war against Somalia’s central government for several years in a bid to oust it and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.

More to follow…