Death toll rises to 14 in Mogadishu bombings

Death toll rises to 14 in Mogadishu bombings

No one has claimed responsibility for that attack.

The second explosion took place around 30 minutes later near security forces.

"So far at least seven people including soldiers and civilians died", Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters.

Two of the five attackers were killed on the first floor, Hussein said.

A taxi driver at the scene told AFP he saw four bodies being carried away, while another witness called Yusuf Moalim said a senior police official appeared to be among the victims, whose vehicle had been near the hotel entrance when the blast occurred.

Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow, reporting from Nairobi, Kenya, said at least three heavily armed Al-Shabab gunmen have gained entry to the Nasa-Hablod hotel and that fighting was still going on.

The first explosion was reportedly caused by a vehicle bomb.

"The Mujahedeen fighters are inside Nasa Hablod 2 hotel where... apostate officials are staying", it said. He suffered small injuries on his shoulder and head from flying glass.

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Witnesses in some previous attacks have said al Shabab fighters disguised themselves by wearing military uniforms.

A suicide vehicle bomber first drove into a hotel where President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was due to host a meeting on Saturday, following by a auto bombing near a former parliament building.

Security officials said Saturday's bomber had pretended his truck had broken down outside the gate.

Al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has been appealing to neighbouring countries in a bid to drum up support in the fight against the Islamic extremist terror cult.

He also faces the challenge of pulling together regional powers inside his long-fractured country, where the federal government is only now trying to assert itself beyond Mogadishu and other major cities.

United States military officials and others in recent months have expressed concern that Somali forces are not yet ready.

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