Mogadishu hotel attack: 14 dead as building in Somali capital stormed by al-Shabaab jihadists

Five militants and at least nine civilians were reported dead as government security forces ended the attack

Fighters from the Islamist group al-Shabaab have attacked a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Five militants and at least nine civilians were reported dead as government security forces ended the attack on the Somali Youth League hotel.

The SYL hotel is locarted across from the presidential palace and is frequented by government officials and business executives.

A suicide bomber rammed a car bomb into the entrance of the hotel, allowing gunmen to fight their way past hotel guards at the first security border, Captain Mohamed Hussein said.

Four gunmen and the suicide bomber were killed, he said, adding that the attacks did not get past the last security checkpoint.

At least nine dead bodies of civilians could be seen outide the hotel, he added.

Residents reported hearing gunfire following the blast, with a large plume of smoke rising above the city.

A second explosion of a similar magnitude was heard 40 minutes after the first, the BBC reports.

Al-Shabaab often launches attacks in Mogadishu on a Friday - the Somali weekend - when more people visit the city's hotels and restaurants. 

The al-Qaeda affiliated group claimed responsibility for a mortar attack targeting the presidential palace which killed three civilians, including a child, on Thursday.

Additional reporting by agencies

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