Al-Shabab was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds [Al Jazeera]

A car bomb went off in a hotel in Somalia‘s port city of Kismayuo where legislators and local elders were meeting, followed by gunfire, a police officer said.

“A blast occurred in Hotel Asasey in the heart of Kismayo, followed by gunfire. Local elders and lawmakers were having a meeting there. It is too early to know if there are any casualties,” Major Mohamed Abdi, a police officer, told Reuters news agency from Kismayo on Friday.

Armed group al-Shabab, which is believed to be linked to al-Qaeda and is trying to topple the Somali government, said it carried out a suicide attack.

Abdiasis

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