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Two gunmen killed in Somali hotel attack

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Somali security forces tackling an Islamist militant attack on a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, have killed two of the gunmen.

They have also rescued 82 people, including civilians and officials.

It is still not clear if anybody else died.

The attack began at around 19:00 (16:00 GMT) on Tuesday, when a gun battle broke out between the al-Shabab fighters and members of the security forces guarding checkpoints leading to the nearby presidential palace, reports AFP news agency.

Gunfire and grenade explosions could be heard during the battle.

“We thought they were police but they started hurling grenades and firing us when they neared and so we exchanged fire at the gate of the hotel,” a police officer is quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying.

The Somali Youth League (SYL) hotel, which is popular with government officials and business people, has suffered three previous attacks by al-Shabab.

The al-Qaeda-linked group said in a statement online that it had carried out the attack.

It carries out regular attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in Somalia, often targeting hotels.

In August 2016, it said it was behind a bomb attack on the same hotel which killed 22 people.

The SYL Hotel attack in August 2016

SourceBBC

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