6 killed, 8 injured in hotel attack in Mogadishu

Bombs kill at least 7 in Mogadishu

13 die in Somalia hotel bombing two weeks after another blast killed ...

That attack also began when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle outside the hotel which was then stormed by gunmen, provoking an assault that lasted several hours and only ended when special forces killed three attackers inside.

"About 14 people, majority civilians, were confirmed dead so far and the security forces are still working to ensure the area is clear", said security official Mohamed Moalim Adan.

He said he saw at least three armed men in military uniforms running toward the hotel after the bombing at its gate. The dead also included a former member of parliament, he said.

A witness said a second explosion went off just when a truck tried to tow a small vehicle from the scene as rescue teams were trying to access the scene.

A huge cloud of smoke rose over the hotel and there were more than a dozen wrecked cars outside.

Saturday's blasts came two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country's worst-ever attack.

"The Mujahedeen fighters are inside Nasa Hablod 2 hotel where... apostate officials are staying", it said. Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the vicinity.

The Somali militant group Al Shabab said it carried out the bombings. "We are fighting inside", said Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group's military operations spokesman.

Al-Shabab, Africa's deadliest Islamic extremist group, quickly claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack and said its fighters were inside the hotel.

Police Colonel Mohamed Abdullahi says the bomber stopped outside the heavily fortified hotel and pretended to fix the vehicle before finally turning it around and detonating.

And the Nasa-Hablod hotel was targeted just a year ago, when al-Shabaab gunmen stormed the building, killing at least 14 people and injuring another 25. At least 358 people were killed and about 400 injured, with numerous victims burnt beyond recognition.

Why Bob McNair could be showing his true colors