Islamist Miltants Hold up Mogadishan Hotel of Foreigners

Islamist militants stormed a hotel popular with westerners and government officials,officials and the militants said, in the Somali capital on Friday, killing at least seven people.
Police said the attack, which appeared well-planned and is still ongoing, began when a suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives near the gate of Maka Al-Mukarramah Hotel in Mogadishu.
Witnesses told reporters that explosions and gunfire could be heard inside the hotel after other attackers managed to enter the hotel and possibly take hostages,
It remained unclear if anyone in particular was targeted in the attack. The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the assault in a message to reporters.
An Al-Shabaab spokesman, told a foreign reporter that “We are behind the Hotel Maka Al-Mukaram attack and fighting is still going on inside the hotel."
The militant group routinely carries out suicide bombings, drive-by shootings and other attacks in Mogadishu, the seat of Somalia's Western-backed government. It was their third attack on a hotel in a month; on top of attacks that have been launched since 2011.