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Somali gunmen storm hotel, kill 15 lawmakers

Somali gunmen storm hotel, kill 15 lawmakers
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Somali gunmen on Tuesday stormed a Mogadishu hotel popular with government officials, police said, and a legislator inside said 15 parliamentarians were killed.

“They have slaughtered 15 MPs. We are surrounding the hotel area. We want to catch them and our troops are there,” legislator Mohamed Hasan was quoted as saying by Reuters.

A hotel worker who fled the building said one of the attackers was a suicide bomber and had blown himself up.

Eyewitnesses later said the gunfire had ended and police had entered the hotel.

Somali hardline Islamists linked to al Qaeda have waged a three-year insurgency against the fragile Western-backed government in the chaotic Horn of African country.

More than 6,300 African Union peacekeepers are deployed in Mogadishu but can do little more than guard the airport and port and shield President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.