The Islamic extremist militias of Al-Shabaab attacked the Villa Rosa hotel in Mogadishu , not far from the palace of the president of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
The hotel and the whole area are frequented by ministers and other senior officials : according to some local media, the Deputy Defense Minister Abdifatah Kasim was injured in the attack.
Police spokesman Ahmed Doodishe said "several people were rescued".
From an initial reconstruction, armed men broke into the hotel: witnesses reported loud explosions and gunshots .
Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group that has been trying to overthrow Somalia's central government for 15 years, has claimed responsibility for the attack .