There are fears the death toll will rise further

Somalia’s security forces are battling gunmen holed up in a building in Mogadishu, hours after a suicide car bomb attack on a busy street left at least seven people dead.

The attack was launched late on Thursday by suspected al-Shabab militants in an area lined with hotels, shops and restaurants.

The gunmen then seized a nearby building and were surrounded.

Exchanges of gunfire continued throughout the night in the capital.

Some 60 people have been injured and seven have died.

The attack happened in an area lined with hotels and restaurants

A number of civilians have been rescued from the building, reports say.

There are fears that the death toll will rise further.

“There are still some armed men inside a building,” police officer Ibrahim Mohamed was quoted as saying on Friday morning by the AFP news agency.

The secretary-general of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) Mohamed Moalimuu was inside the Maka al-Mukarama hotel with a colleague when they heard gunshots followed by a blast.

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