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Explosions at hotel in Somali capital; Police official says car bomb detonated, heavy gunfire

  • CORRECTS THAT VICTIM WAS ALIVE AT TIME PHOTOGRAPH WAS TAKEN - Somali rescuers carry away a severely injured civilian from the scene of a twin bombing attack on a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. The victim later died. One person rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of the Central Hotel in Somalia's capital, and another went through the gates and blew himself up, killing at least four people on Friday including the deputy mayor and a legislator, officials said, while the country's deputy prime minister was also among those wounded by the bombings. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

    CORRECTS THAT VICTIM WAS ALIVE AT TIME PHOTOGRAPH WAS TAKEN - Somali rescuers carry away a severely injured civilian from the scene of a twin bombing attack on a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. The victim later died. One person rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of the Central Hotel in Somalia's capital, and another went through the gates and blew himself up, killing at least four people on Friday including the deputy mayor and a legislator, officials said, while the country's deputy prime minister was also among those wounded by the bombings. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Somali security forces gather outside the scene of a twin bombing attack on a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. One person rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of the Central Hotel in Somalia's capital, and another went through the gates and blew himself up, killing at least four people on Friday including the deputy mayor and a legislator, officials said, while the country's deputy prime minister was also among those wounded by the bombings. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

    Somali security forces gather outside the scene of a twin bombing attack on a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. One person rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of the Central Hotel in Somalia's capital, and another went through the gates and blew himself up, killing at least four people on Friday including the deputy mayor and a legislator, officials said, while the country's deputy prime minister was also among those wounded by the bombings. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)  (The Associated Press)

Two strong explosions have been heard at a hotel near Somalia's presidential palace, and smoke could be seen rising from the hotel frequented by government officials.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein, a senior Somali police officer said Friday that a car bomb was detonated at the gate of Central hotel in Mogadishu, followed by heavy gunfire. More details were not available about the attack.

The attack bears the hallmarks of al-Shabab, an Islamic extremist group fighting the Somali government and the African Union forces in the country. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.