Reuters
 — 

Gunfire This was heard Monday, April 13, 2009 inside A besieged A hotel in Somalia’s capital was attacked over the weekend according to a resident and a cop. parliament It stated that it had delayed a scheduled session.

Near the presidential residence was the Villa Rose Hotel. stormed on Sunday by attackers of al Qaeda-linked al ShabaabA police officer stated that certain government officials had escaped through its windows, and used explosives and guns to attack the vehicle.

“There is still heavy gunfire inside the hotel, and we hear explosions from time to time … we are still in our houses since last night, when the siege started,” Ismail Haaji lives near the hotel and told Reuters.

According to a police officer on the scene, special forces units known as Haramcad and Gaashaan had taken control of operations.

“The fighters who launched the attack are still fighting inside the hotel, and they are fighting with the forces of Haramcad and Gaashaan, and security forces are trying to rescue the people trapped inside the hotel,” The officer continued.

It is not clear at this time if there were any casualties in the siege or how many people were rescued.

The Villa Rosa hotel is frequently used by Mogadishu government officials for meetings.

Somalia’s parliament It stated that it had delayed a scheduled session For both its houses.

“All members of parliament of both councils are being informed that today’s scheduled meeting has been postponed,” It made the statement via a Facebook post.

Al Shabaab is a group that seeks to overthrow the government and establish its own rule using extreme Islamic law. It frequently attacks Mogadishu and other places.

This year’s elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud launched a military attack against the group.