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The Latest: Al-Shabab extremists claim Mogadishu blast

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – The Latest on explosions in Somalia’s capital (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

The al-Shabab extremist group has quickly claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb that detonated outside a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital.

Police say at least two people are dead and more than eight others wounded in Saturday afternoon’s blast outside the Nasa-Hablod hotel, which is frequented by politicians and other members of Mogadishu’s elite.

Al-Shabab also claims that its fighters are inside the hotel, where gunfire can still be heard.

The blast comes two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country’s worst-ever attack.

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5:55 p.m.

A police officer says at least two people are dead and more than eight others are wounded after a suspected suicide car bomb detonated outside a hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says gunfire can be heard inside the Nasa-Hablod hotel, which is frequented by politicians and other members of the city’s elite.

A second blast was heard in the area minutes after the first.

Saturday’s blast comes two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country’s worst-ever attack.

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5:35 p.m.

A Somali police officer says a suspected suicide car bomb has detonated near the gate of a hotel close to the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says gunfire could be heard inside the Nasa-Hablod hotel.

Saturday’s blast in Somalia’s capital comes two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country’s worst-ever attack.

The extremist group al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu.

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