Somali Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack on Sunday on a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, a spokesman said.
“Mujahideen (fighters) entered and took over Sahafi hotel where enemies lived. The operation still goes on,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters after police reported battling the attackers after two bomb blasts.
There were government officials and Members of Parliament in the hotel when militants attacked.
Two car bombs were detonated before heavily armed fighters stormed hotel.
A fierce fighting ensued with Somali National Police officers who were swiftly overpowered.
“Government forces are still engaging the attackers,” Amisom said of the incident promising more updates.
The militants took control of the hotel for sometime and placed it under siege.
However, Amisom says its troops and Somali army have retaken control of the facility.
“Somalia Government Forces and AMISOM have taken control of Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu,” Amisom said in a tweet.
Initial reports put the number of those so far dead including businesspeople between 8 to 12 people.
The report cited a foreign diplomat, Somalia MP, senior army general and owner of Sahafi Hotel among those killed.
An Al Jazeera local correspondent, Mustafa Shafana, is also among the dead.
Officials have so far confirmed only two people to have died.