Photos: Al-Shabab targets Mogadishu hotel in daring attack

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The siege of a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, has ended after security forces stormed the building, killing the gunmen in an hours-long gun battle, according to military officials.

The fighters from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab armed group on Friday entered the Hayat hotel frequented by government officials after triggering explosions and gunfire.

Security forces say they are clearing explosives planted by fighters in the building.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest of its frequent attempts to strike places visited by government officials. The attack on the hotel is the first major incident in Mogadishu since Somalia’s new leader, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, took office in May.

Mohamed Abdirahman, director of Mogadishu’s Madina Hospital, said that 40 people were admitted there with wounds or injuries from the attack. While nine were sent home after getting treatment, five are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, he said.