At least 25 killed after twin car bombing strikes Somali capital

Insurgent group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in the Somali capital that's killed at least 25 people.

At least 25 people have been killed and another 30 are injured when two car bombs exploded and gunmen stormed a hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

Following the blasts on Saturday, gunmen laid siege to the Nasa-Hablood hotel, which is popular with government officials.

More than 30 people, including a government minister and a prominent cleric, were eventually rescued, policeman Mohamed Dahir said.

During the 10-hour siege, which has now come to an end, one of the militants blew himself up causing unknown casualties among security forces, Dahir told dpa.

Among the 25 confirmed dead in the initial bomb blasts were Abdinasir Mohamed Garane, a former deputy minister of livestock, and a senior police commissioner.

Among the dead in the hotel were a mother and three children, including a baby, all shot in the head.

Bombs kill dozens in Mogadishu, Somalia
Bombs kill dozens in Mogadishu, Somalia

Police Colonel Mohamed Abdullahi says the bomber stopped outside the heavily fortified hotel and pretended to repair the truck before finally turning it around and detonating.

On their radio station, insurgent group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, which was heard across the Somali capital.

Reports by local media said that some of the attackers were captured alive after the siege while others were shot dead. It's believed at least five terrorists were involved in the attack.

Mohamed Hassan, a Somali government intelligence official, told dpa the hotel had no electricity as security forces tried to battle fighters in the dark during the siege.

"It is dark ... The electricity went off as fighting is still taking place inside the hotel," he said.

The bomb blasts came just weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a similar attack, which the government holds al-Shabaab responsible for.

The president released a statement on Saturday after the Nasahablood attack saying the incident will not stop his government from tackling terrorists.

"I share the sadness with the families and friends as we are again witnessing another deadly attack here in Mogadishu," he added.