MOGADISHU, Somalia – Officials in Somalia say gunmen who stormed a hotel frequented by government officials and dignitaries killing at least nine people are exchanging fire with government troops more than 12 hours later.
Capt. Mohammed Hussein said Saturday that the government troops had managed to take up the ground floor of the Maka Al-Mukarramah hotel in the Somali capital, in Mogadishu, and the gunmen are believed to be on the fourth and fifth floor. The African Union Mission In Somalia or AMISOM posted on Twitter that there are reports there could be hostages.
The siege began Friday.
Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab controlled much of Mogadishu between 2007 and 2011, but was pushed out of Somalia's capital and other major cities by African Union forces. Al-Shabab continues to wage a deadly insurgency against Somalia's government.