Somalia attack: Gunmen kill four guards in Puntland
Feb.8, Puntland: At least four guards have been killed when gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital of Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Wednesday.
In a nation awash with weapons, it was not immediately clear who staged the raid in the port city of Bosasso. An official blamed al-Shabab fighters, but a spokesman for the armed group denied involvement.
"Three al-Shabab fighters stormed the International Village Hotel this morning. Four guards and two of the attackers died in the fighting," Yusuf Mohamed, governor of the Bari region, told Reuters news agency.
He said the attackers had not managed to enter the hotel, which is popular with foreigners.
According to Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab's military operations spokesman, "We are not behind the Bosasso hotel attack. It is propaganda."
Al-Shabab regularly launches attacks in Somalia, but tends to focus on the capital Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government, media reports said.
Until 2011, the al-Qaeda-linked group controlled most of Somalia, including Mogadishu. Since then it has been pushed out of the capital and slowly forced out of other strongholds by African Union troops and Somali soldiers.
The Oslo Times International News Network