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Bomb and Gunfire Rock Somali Hotel, Terrorists Claim Responsibility

MOGADISHU—A suspected suicide car bomb exploded on Sunday in Somalia’s capital and was followed by a shootout between terrorists and security forces at a hotel, causing an unknown number of casualties, witnesses and authorities said. The terror group al Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaeda and often carries out bombings in its war on Somalia’s government, claimed responsibility via its radio station. “A speeding car exploded near the hotel and checkpoint. The blast shook us and heavy gunfire followed,” shopkeeper Ali Abdulahi told Reuters of the incident, which occurred in the busy Kilometre 4 area of Mogadishu. A Reuters journalist saw security forces besiege the area, where cars are inspected en route to the airport and where politicians regularly gather at the hotel. “The blast made the hotel tremble as we sat inside and were talking. We were panicked, confused,” witness Ahmed Nur said, adding that he escaped via a …