At least 10 people have been killed in a huge bomb explosion at a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
A BBC correspondent in the city reports that a lorry was used to attack the Jazeera hotel near the city’s airport.
Ambulances have begun collecting the dead and wounded in what he describes as one of the worst scenes of destruction he has seen in Mogadishu.
Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack on the hotel.
It said it was responding to assaults on the group by an African Union force and the Somali government.
International diplomats often stay at the hotel, which has been targeted in the past. It accommodates several embassies including those of China, Qatar and Egypt.
“A suicide car bomb exploded at the gate of Jazeera Hotel,” Major Nur Osoble, a police officer, told Reuters news agency.
A government security officer was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that hotel security guards were among the dead.