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Bomb and gunfight hit Somali hotel

Earlier this month, another car bomb went off outside the hotel

Militants have stormed a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. A fierce gunfight is taking place inside the popular Maka al-Mukarama hotel. The militant Islamist group al-Shabab has said that it carried out the attack, which started when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed car outside the building.Seven people were killed in the blast, with one report saying the death toll was at least nine. A police source told Reuters a dozen people had been wounded.Hotels in Mogadishu are often targeted by al-Shabab militants, who were driven from the city several years ago but still control southern rural areas.A car bomb went off outside the Maka al-Mukarama earlier this month – the al-Qaeda-linked militants said they were behind that attack.Many politicians and businessmen stay at the hotel as it is on the main road linking the presidential palace to the city’s airport. Somalia has been ravaged by conflict for more than two decades.But thousands of Somalis have been returning from abroad to help rebuild the country as security has improved in recent years.African Union troops have been helping the UN-backed government retake territory from the militants.

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