At least 12 persons have been killed with several others injured after al-Shabab militants stormed a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Friday night.
Attackers detonated at least two explosives outside the hotel before entering the building and opening fire.
Continued gunfire and explosions were reported on Saturday as security forces battled an unknown number of gunmen still inside holding hostages.
According to reports, 12 persons have been confirmed dead so far while dozens of guests and staff members have been rescued.
Earlier, a website affiliated to al-Shabab said a group of militants were “carrying out random shootings” after having “forcibly entered” the hotel – described as a popular location for employees of the federal government to meet.
The director of Mogadishu’s main trauma hospital, Dr Mohamed Abdirahman Jama, also revealed to newsmen that the facility was treating at least 40 people wounded in the hotel attack and a separate mortar strike on another area of the capital.
Meanwhile, a grouyp of people have gathered in front of the hotel to either look for their loved ones trapped inside or sympae with the victims.