A suspected suicide bomber has detonated an explosives-packed car at the gate of a popular hotel in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, according to police.
The powerful blast on Wednesday was followed by a second explosion, with attackers fighting their way inside Dayah Hotel, located near Somalia's parliament in central Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a report by Andalus radio, which is linked to the armed group.
"Well-armed mujahideen (fighters) attacked the hotel and now they are fighting inside the hotel," the report said.
Dozens of people, including members of Somalia's parliament,
were thought to had been at the hotel at the time of the morning
attack,Captain Mohamed Hussein told The Associated Press news agency.
"Shooting is taking place. It is too early to know more details,"
Major Ali Hussein, a police officer at the scene, told the Reuters news
The hotel is popular among politicians, government officials and entrepreneurs.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Al-Shabab has carried out a series of deadly attacks in Somalia to try to topple the country's Western-backed government.