Deadly al-Shabab attack on Mogadishu hotel

MOGADISHU - An attack by the Islamist group al-Shabab in a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu has left at least 14 dead, police say.

Security forces retook the Naso-Hablod hotel after gunmen stormed it and took hostages, officials said.

Those killed are reported to include security guards, civilians and some of the attackers.

Al-Shabab militants frequently carry out attacks in the city in their bid to topple the Western-backed government.

A suicide bomber first detonated a car with explosives at the gate of the hotel, and the attackers moved in, officials said.

Once inside, the gunmen shot randomly at guests, a witness said.

"They were shooting at everyone they could see. I escaped through the back door," Ali Mohamud told the Associated Press news agency.

A gun battle then erupted between the attackers and security forces.

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