BREAKING: Suicide Car BOMB Explodes At Restaurant Leaving Multiple DEAD- 10 Hostages FREED

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At least nine people were killed and several others wounded in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a hotel, police and witnesses said, in an attack claimed by militant Islamist group al Shabaab.

Security forces fatally shot two gunmen who were holding hostages inside of the Pizza House restaurant, a popular eatery in the Somali capital.

“So far, we can confirm that nine people – mostly women who were hotel staff – have died,” said Mohamed Hussein, another police officer.

10 hostages have reportedly been freed.

Five attackers are thought to remain in the restaurant with an unknown number of hostages, according to Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

Initial reports claimed gunmen rushed inside the restaurant soon after the explosion, Fox News reports.

Most of the victims were young women who were entering the Pizza House at the time, Hussein said.

Al-Shabab, a Somalia-based extremist group that often targets popular area in Mogadishu, claimed responsibility and says their attack is ongoing.

“A mujahid (fighter) with his suicide car bomb martyred himself after he rammed into Posh Hotel, which is a nightclub. The operation goes one,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military spokesman, told Reuters.

The group has vowed to step up attacks after the recently elected government launched a new military offensive against it.

Abas Ahmed, who was at a nearby restaurant when the explosion happened, told i24News that he saw “the dead bodies of several people and others who were injured.”

Wednesday’s explosion was the second suicide car bomb outside an eatery in Mogadishu in two months. In early May, 8 people were killed when a car bomb exploded outside Bar Italia. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility.

Al-Shabab last year became the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa, with more than 4,200 people killed in 2016, according to the Washington-based Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

The extremist group also faces a new military push from the United States after President Donald Trump approved expanded operations, including airstrikes, against al-Shabab. On Sunday, the U.S. military in Africa said it carried out an airstrike in southern Somalia that killed eight Islamic extremists at a rebel command and logistics camp.

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