An intelligence officer told Reuters on Saturday that when al Qaeda-affiliated militants raided a hotel and took control of the area, at least 12 people were killed in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. Authorities are still fighting to break the siege.
On Friday night, the terrorists used two car bombs to break into the Hayat Hotel before starting their shooting. Al Shabaab rebels from Somalia have taken ownership.
"So far we have confirmed 12 people, mostly civilians, died," Mohammed, an intelligence officer who only gave one name, told Reuters. "The operation is about to be concluded but it is still going on."
The detonations sent huge plumes of smoke over the busy junction on Friday night, and the sound of gunfire still crackled across the capital by 0700 GMT on Saturday.
According to witnesses, the night was punctuated by the sounds of explosives as government forces attempted to retake control of the hotel from the militants.
They claimed that the battle had completely destroyed large portions of the hotel.