Somali Islamist militants attack hotel in Mogadishu (UPDATE)
19:47 (GMT+4)Police said at least seven people had died and 10 others were wounded, Reuters reported.
Gunfire echoed round the seaside city after the blast and ambulances raced to the scene.
"We attacked the hotel which was frequented by the apostate government members," al Shabaab military operations spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters, adding that the group's fighters were inside the building.
19:06 (GMT+4) Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group launched a suicide bomb attack on a hotel in the center of Mogadishu on Saturday before militant fighters stormed the building, a police officer said, Reuters reported.
The official gave no details of any casualties and there was no immediate comment from al Shabaab, which frequently carries out attacks in the capital in its bid to topple the Western-backed government.
"They started with a suicide bomb and then stormed in. Now they are inside and the heavy exchange of gunfire continues," Major Nur Farah told Reuters.
He said Nasahablood hotel had been targeted. "It is too early to give details," he added.
Muslims in Somalia and around the world are observing Ramadan. In previous years, al Shabaab has often intensified attacks during the fasting month, often picking targets where people gather just before or after breaking the fast.