Gunmen kill four guards in hotel attack in Somalia – Officials blame al Shabaab for the attack.
A Somali policeman stands guard along a road which was blocked to control motor vehicle traffic, during a security lock down in Somalias capital Mogadishu, February 7, 2017
Gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital of Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Wednesday, killing four guards, a senior official said.
In a nation awash with weapons, it was not immediately clear who staged the raid in the port city of Bosasso. The official blamed al Shabaab Islamists, but a spokesman for the group denied involvement.
"Three al Shabaab fighters stormed the International Village Hotel this morning. Four guards and two of the attackers died in the fighting," said Yusuf Mohamed, the governor of Bari region. He said the militants had not managed to enter the hotel, which is popular with foreigners.
Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operation spokesman, said: "We are not behind the Bosasso hotel attack. It is propaganda."
Al Shabaab regularly launches attacks in Somalia, but tends to focus on the capital Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government.
Until 2011, the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab controlled most of Somalia including Mogadishu. Since then it has been pushed out of the capital and slowly forced out of other strongholds by African Union troops and Somali soldiers.