At least eight people have been killed in a suicide attack on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu. Gunmen used a vehicle packed with explosives to blast their way into the Sahafi hotel compound before storming the building, police said.
Police were still exchanging fire with suspected al-Shabab militants inside the hotel about an hour after the attack started.
The hotel is popular with Somalia’s members of parliament.
A website associated with al-Shabab claimed responsibility, saying that fighters from the al-Qaeda linked group had infiltrated the hotel after an explosion.
The attack comes a day after deadly clashes between jihadist fighters and African Union (AU) troops in Somalia’s Bakool region.
The AU is helping the government battle al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda.
Security in Somalia has improved, but al-Shabab still attacks Mogadishu regularly.
The militants have also targeted neighbouring countries, killing almost 150 people in an assault on Garissa University College in Kenya in April.