Extremists from the Al-Shabaab terrorist network have been confirmed to be behind a huge car bomb and subsequent gun battle in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, on Sunday afternoon.

The group have already claimed responsibility in the region for the attack on the Afrik Hotel in the city. The hotel is located near the Aden Adde Airport in the city.

As of 23:50 GMT the death toll is still unconfirmed, but sources at the site currently indicate it could easily reach double figures.

Mohamd Nur Galaal, a prominent general in the Somalia military for many years is now believed to be among the dead.

It is understood the car bomb was detonated near the entrance to the hotel before armed Al-Shabaab fighters ran into the hotel and opened fire, although exactly how they managed to gain access to a heavily guarded location often used by government staff will now raise questions ahead of the February 8th elections in the country.

At time of typing there has been no request for elections to be delayed.

Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda linked group active in east and north east Africa have recently made headlines in the region for smuggling activities in the extreme north of Somalia near the border with Somaliland, Taiwan’s latest diplomatic ally.

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