Five people have reportedly died during a gun battle between militant Islamists and Somali security forces at a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu.

The Islamist group Al-Shabab said it was responsible for the attack which began with a car bomb on Sunday at the Afrik Hotel.

Before this development, several attacks have been carried out against the government, by the the group, which is linked to al-Qaeda.

According to AFP news agency, three were shot and one blew himself up-in all, at least four attackers also died.

On the incident, officials at the scene reported that a tcar hit the hotel’s front entrance and detonated before gunmen stormed the building.

According to Reuters, an eyewitness who reacted to the incident, Ahmed Nur said,

“The blast made the hotel tremble as we sat inside and were talking. We were panicked, confused,”

“The operation is over now. Nine people, including four attackers, died and over 10 civilians were injured. There is no electricity,” a police spokesman told reporters from the scene and via Facebook.