A combined suicide bomb and gun attack at a hotel and restaurant in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has killed at least 18 people.

The attack started on Wednesday evening, as Muslims were breaking their daily fast during Ramadan.

A chef at the Pizza House restaurant, a modern venue popular with young Somalis, was among the victims.

Militants from the al-Shabab group held about 20 hostages during a shoot-out with police, which has now ended.

The al-Qaeda affiliated group admitted carrying out the attack early on Thursday.

The attack began at around 20:00 local time (17:00 GMT), when a car rigged with explosives hit the Posh Hotel next to the restaurant – the only venue in Mogadishu with a disco, Reuters news agency reports.

Gunmen then entered the Pizza House restaurant next door, seizing hostages.

Residents reported gunshots throughout the night, but the situation is now calm, a BBC reporter with the Somali service said.

Mohammud Ali said police had stormed the building “in the early hours” and security forces were clearing the hotel.

There were also unconfirmed reports the attackers wore police uniforms, he said.


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