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Officials: Siege by al-Shabab gunmen in Somali hotel continues more than 12 hours later

  • A Somali soldier walks on the street during fighting with militants who were inside the Maka Almukaramaha Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, March, 28, 2015. Somali troops on Saturday took full control of a hotel that extremist gunmen stormed and occupied for more than 12 hours following a suicide bombing. At least 17 people died and dozens were wounded. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

    A Somali soldier walks on the street during fighting with militants who were inside the Maka Almukaramaha Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, March, 28, 2015. Somali troops on Saturday took full control of a hotel that extremist gunmen stormed and occupied for more than 12 hours following a suicide bombing. At least 17 people died and dozens were wounded. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Somali soldier photographs the body of one of the Al-Shabab militants as it lays on the ground outside the Maka Almukaramaha Hotel, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, March 28, 2015, who were killed during the second day of siege by Al-Shabab militants . Somali troops on Saturday took full control of a hotel that extremist gunmen stormed and occupied for more than 12 hours following a suicide bombing. At least 17 people died and dozens were wounded. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

    A Somali soldier photographs the body of one of the Al-Shabab militants as it lays on the ground outside the Maka Almukaramaha Hotel, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, March 28, 2015, who were killed during the second day of siege by Al-Shabab militants . Somali troops on Saturday took full control of a hotel that extremist gunmen stormed and occupied for more than 12 hours following a suicide bombing. At least 17 people died and dozens were wounded. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)  (The Associated Press)

  • The bodies of three Al-Shabab militants lay on the ground in the Maka Almukaramaha Hotel, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, March 28, 2015, who were killed during the second day of siege by Al-Shabab militants . Somali troops on Saturday took full control of a hotel that extremist gunmen stormed and occupied for more than 12 hours following a suicide bombing. At least 17 people died and dozens were wounded. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

    The bodies of three Al-Shabab militants lay on the ground in the Maka Almukaramaha Hotel, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, March 28, 2015, who were killed during the second day of siege by Al-Shabab militants . Somali troops on Saturday took full control of a hotel that extremist gunmen stormed and occupied for more than 12 hours following a suicide bombing. At least 17 people died and dozens were wounded. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)  (The Associated Press)

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.