BREAKING NEWS

Car bomb, gunfire hit hotel in Somalia's Kismayu port city - police

 A car laden with explosives rammed into the gate of a hotel in the center of Somalia's port city of Kismayu followed by gunfire - a police officer and a resident said on Sunday.

The state-run Somali National Television said on Twitter that security forces were dealing with a "terrorist incident" at the hotel, which al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab has taken responsibility for.

"There is a blast at Tawakal hotel and there is gunfire being heard," Mohamed Nur, a police captain, told Reuters from Kismayu.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

Witnesses said a huge blast was heard before the gunfire started.

"The security forces have besieged the scene," Farah Ali, a shopkeeper in Kismayu, told Reuters.

Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operation spokesperson, said the group was behind the attack, and had targeted Jubbaland region's administrators who work from the hotel.

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