Somalia: Al Shabaab militants claim responsibility for terrorist attack in Kismayu

A car bomb and shooting attack on a hotel in Somalia's Kismayo city killed at least three people on Sunday, police said. Mohamed Nur, a police captain, and Farah Ali, a shopkeeper in Kismayu, told Reuters the blast at Tawakal Hotel preceded the gunfire.

Gunfire erupted after an explosives-laden vehicle rammed into the gate of the port city's Tawakal Hotel. The al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militant group said it had carried out the attack.

"So far there are three people dead and eight others injured, who were taken to Kismayu hospital," Farah Mohamed, a security officer told Reuters from Kismayu.

The state-run Somali National Television said on Twitter security forces were dealing with a "terrorist incident" at the hotel.

"When the blast and attack occurred there was a meeting in the hotel, a plan to launch a massive war on al Shabaab," Mohamed said.

Video footage from the Somali National Television posted on its Twitter account showed security personnel load one of the wounded into an ambulance.

Journalist Harum Maruf reported that militants are, at the time of writing, "holed-up" in the hotel by security forces. There appears to be some confusion on the ground as to the numbers of the casualties.

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