Gunmen from the extremist group al-Shabaab have held several people as hostage inside a restaurant in Somalia's capital Mogadishu.
Gunmen posing as military forces launched the attack, which began when a car bomb exploded at the gate, reports The Guardian.
Two gunmen were shot dead and 10 hostages were rescued but five other attackers were still inside and cut off electricity to further complicate the efforts by security forces to end the siege, Captain Mohamed Hussein said.
At least nine people have been killed and several wounded in the initial attack, as most of the victims were young men who were entering the Pizza House when the vehicle exploded, Hussein said.
While al-Shabaab claimed to have attacked the neighbouring Posh Treats restaurant, which is often visited by the city's elite, security officials claim that the Pizza House was targeted instead.
Meanwhile, security forces have rescued Asian, Ethiopian, Kenyan and other workers at 'Posh Treats' as the attack continues.
Somalia-based al-Shabaab, who has frequently targeted high-profile areas of Mogadishu, including hotels, military checkpoints and areas near the presidential palace, has sworn to step up attacks after the recently elected government launched a new military offensive against it.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)