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The Latest: 17 reported dead in Somalia restaurant attack

Posted June 14

— The Latest on a suicide attack outside a restaurant in Somalia's capital (all times local):

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2 a.m.

An ambulance driver says his service has carried 17 bodies in the ongoing attack in a restaurant in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

Khalif Dahir with the Amin Ambulance service says they also have carried 26 wounded people.

Dahir says access to the restaurant remains cut off because of ongoing fighting between Somali security forces and extremists holed up inside the Pizza House restaurant.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which began when a car bomb exploded at the restaurant's gate.

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12:50 a.m.

Police say the death toll has risen to at least 14, including foreigners, in an attack that continues at a popular restaurant in Somalia's capital.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says the dead include a Syrian man. The toll also includes two of the attackers, who police say were shot and killed by security forces.

An unknown number of hostages remain in the restaurant and police say the attackers are taking advantage of the darkness after cutting off the electricity.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack that began when a car bomb exploded at the restaurant gate.

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11:50 p.m.

Police say security forces have shot dead two of the gunmen holed up inside a restaurant in Somalia's capital and rescued 10 people who were being held hostage.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says five attackers are thought to remain in the Pizza House restaurant with an untold number of hostages. He says heavy gunfire has been heard inside.

Hussein says the attackers have switched off the electricity, complicating efforts by security forces.

Wednesday night's attack in Mogadishu began when a car bomb exploded at the restaurant gate. Police say at least nine people are dead and several wounded.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility.

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10:55 p.m.

Eyewitness Nur Yasin tells The Associated Press that attackers posing as Somali security forces have forced people inside a restaurant in the capital at gunpoint. Yasin says they were wearing military uniforms.

Police say dozens of people are thought to be held inside the Pizza House restaurant in Mogadishu as a hostage situation unfolds. A burst of gunfire has been heard.

The attack began with a suicide car bomb at the gate.

The blast largely destroyed the restaurant's facade and sparked a fire at the restaurant.

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10:50 p.m.

Police say the death toll has risen to nine in an attack on a popular restaurant in Somalia's capital.

Police say a hostage situation is unfolding inside the Pizza House in Mogadishu as gunmen are holed up inside and security forces try to secure the scene.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says a burst of gunfire was heard inside the restaurant where dozens of people are reported to be held. The attack began with a car bomb exploding at the gate.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility and says the attack is ongoing.

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10:40 p.m.

Police are reporting a hostage situation inside a restaurant in Somalia's capital as gunmen are holed up inside and security forces try to secure the scene.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says a burst of gunfire has been heard inside the Pizza House restaurant, where dozens of people are reported to be held.

The attack Wednesday night began with a suicide car bombing at the gate of the restaurant. Police say at least four people have been killed and several wounded.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility.

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9:45 p.m.

Police say at least four people were killed and several others wounded in a suicide car bomb blast that targeted a popular restaurant in Somalia's capital.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says most of the victims were young men who were entering the Pizza House at the time. The car exploded at the restaurant's gate.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas in Mogadishu.

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9:05 p.m.

Police say there is confusion whether gunmen are inside a restaurant in Somalia's capital after a suicide car bomb detonated at its gate.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein at first said gunmen were fighting their way inside the restaurant and that a hostage situation was underway.

Hussein now says it's possible the attack ended with the car bombing outside the Pizza House restaurant. The restaurant is just meters away from another establishment popular with the city's elite.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas in Mogadishu.

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8:45 p.m.

Police say a suicide bomber has detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of a popular restaurant in Somalia's capital.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says a hostage situation is under way at the Pizza House restaurant.

Hussein has no immediate information about any casualties.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu, including hotels, military checkpoints and areas near the presidential palace. It has vowed to step up attacks after the recently elected government launched a new military offensive against it.

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