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Somali capital Mogadishu hit by double explosions at hotel: At least 20 killed

At least 20 people, including some MPs, have been killed in an attack on a hotel in the centre of the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses say, the BBC reports.

Two huge explosions followed by gunfire were heard at the Central Hotel, often frequented by politicians.

Al-Shabab Islamist militants have said they were behind the attack – they are battling the UN-backed government for control of Somalia.

The al-Qaeda linked group has been driven out of the country’s major towns but still controls many rural areas in the south.

“First the car bomb exploded at the gate of the hotel, then a suicide bomber blew himself up in the hotel compound,” police Major Nur Mohamed told Reuters.

“There were ministers and legislators inside the hotel. I have seen many people with injuries, including a lawmaker,” he said from the scene of the blast.

The attack took place around lunchtime on Friday, when hotels are often busy for the Somali weekend.

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