Somalia hotels attacked by militants in Mogadishu

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A stock photo of al-Shabab recruits in Mogadishu, SomaliaImage source, AFP
Image caption,
The al-Shabab militant group has carried out regular attacks in Somalia

At least five people were killed when militants in the Somali capital Mogadishu attacked two hotels.

A security operation has now ended at one of the hotels, near the parliament building.

The BBC's Moalimu Mohammed, in the city, says the two hotels were busy with people breaking their Ramadan fast when they were attacked at 18:10 local time (15:10 GMT).

The Islamist militant group al-Shabab has said it was behind the attack.

Our reporter says the two hotels - the Wehliya and Siyaad - are among the best known in the city.

The Siyaad is near the presidential palace, while the Wehliya is close to parliament.

Conflicting reports

"Car bombs rammed into the hotels named Wehliya and Siyaad. Then our fighters stormed in," an al-Shabab spokesman told Reuters.

Some reports say fighting is ongoing, but Somalia's National Intelligence & Security Agency tweeted that the attacks had been foiled.

There was also a mortar attack on a base of the African Union (AU) force in the city at the same time.

The AU is helping the government battle al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda.

Security in Somalia has improved, but al-Shabab still attacks Mogadishu regularly.

The militants have also targeted neighbouring countries, killing almost 150 people in an assault on Garissa University College in Kenya in April.