Suspected Islamist militants have attacked a hotel on the beachfront in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
A loud explosion at the Elite hotel on Lido beach was followed by gunfire, amid reports that government forces were fighting the attackers.
The hotel is popular with local politicians and Somalis from the diaspora. Eyewitnesses have spoken of stray bullets hitting the beach.
Attacks by the jihadist group, al Shabab, are extremely frequent.
Last Monday 20 people died during an outbreak of violence at Mogadishu’s main prison which officials say was started by detained al Shabab fighters.
Two days earlier a suicide bomber targeted an army base killing at least eight soldiers.
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