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AKIPRESS.COM - At least 19 people were killed when Islamist militants launched a car bomb and gun attack on a busy hotel and adjacent restaurant in the Somali capital, Reuters reported citing police officer.
A car driven by a suicide bomber rammed into the Posh Hotel in south Mogadishu on Wednesday evening before gunmen rushed into Pizza House, an adjacent restaurant, and took 20 people hostage. Posh Hotel is the only venue with a discotheque in the capital.
District police chief Abdi Bashir told Reuters Somali security forces took back control of the restaurant at midnight after the gunmen had held hostages inside for several hours. Five of the gunmen were killed, Bashir said.
"We are in control of the hotel but it was mostly destroyed by the suicide bomber," he told Reuters by phone.
Witnesses said there were bodies lying at the scene on Thursday morning as ambulances came to take them away.
Another 27 civilians were taken to hospital with various injuries, ambulance services said. Witnesses said the attack was launched after the Iftar dinner for customers who are fasting for Ramadan. Most of them were still inside relaxing.