At least 14 dead in Mogadishu attack

Bombs kill at least 7 in Mogadishu

Following further explosions, police said they were battling militants on the top floor of the hotel, where more than 20 civilians may be trapped inside.

"Sporadic gunfire" was continuing with at least two gunmen from the Shabaab Islamist group believed to be inside the Nasa Hablod Hotel 2, he added.

"We can confirm that the president was not at the hotel at the time of the attack", he said.

The attack comes two weeks after a truck bomb left 358 people dead in the city.

Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Saturday's terrorist attack in Somali capital Mogadishu that claimed the lives of at least 10 people, Anadolu reported.

The Shabaab has made attacks on hotels - commonly beginning with a suicide vehicle bombing followed by an invasion by gunmen - a regular strategy in its decade old battle to overthrow successive internationally-backed governments in Mogadishu.

The fatalities included a police commander and a former government minister, local reporter Harun Maruf wrote, according to Sky News.

Mohamed Ahmed, a tuk-tuk driver, who was driving by the Nasa-Hablod hotel at the time of the attack, said he "saw a vehicle exploding at the gate of the hotel".

A police commander and a former MP are among the dead, following a suicide auto bombs detonating as it rammed into the gate of a hotel close to the capital city's presidential palace.

The Shabab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack on a media channel associated with the group.

There was no claim of responsibility for the lorry bombing on October 14, which was the deadliest in the country's history and triggered nationwide anger. Security forces cordoned off the area.

The U.S. military also has stepped up military efforts against al-Shabab this year in Somalia, carrying out almost 20 drone strikes, as the global war on extremism moves deeper into the African continent.

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