The death toll from the attack on Hayat Hotel here has risen to 15, while dozens of people have been injured, as gunfire between security forces and al-Shabaab terrorists is ongoing, media reported on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, news agencies reported about at least eight dead and several injured.
The list of the victims includes the owner of the hotel, Abdirahman Hassan Iman, according to the Dalsan radio station.
A gunfight occurred on Friday night between the Somali security forces and members of the al-Shabaab radical Islamist group at Hayat Hotel, which is a popular place among lawmakers and government officials. At least two explosions were heard in the vicinity of the hotel.
Al-Shabaab, which is affiliated with the al-Qaeda terror group, has been waging an armed struggle against the central government of Somalia and is still controlling large areas in the southern and central parts of the country.
In May, the United States decided to renew strikes against the group’s positions to combat the growing threat posed by al-Shabaab to US partner forces. In particular, 13 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in the recent US airstrike in Somalia on August 14, according to the US Africa Command.