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Somalia's Al-Shabaab Kills Four In Hotel Attack In Puntland Region, Says Official

Until 2011, Al-Shabaab militants controlled most of Somalia, including the capital, Mogadishu.

Gunmen have stormed a hotel in Somalia's semiautonomous Puntland region, killing four guards, officials say.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the February 8 attack in the city of Bosasso, according to Amaq, an IS-affiliated news service.

A group declaring allegiance to the group has been active in Puntland in recent months.

Regional governor Yusuf Mohamed earlier blamed the attack on Al-Shabaab, but a spokesman for the Islamist militant group denied this.

Mohamed said three fighters stormed the International Village Hotel, which is popular with foreigners, adding that four guards and two of the attackers died in the fighting.

The attack came as Somali lawmakers began electing a president in the capital, Mogadishu.

The vote is seen as important step for Somalia, which fell into chaos following the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre’s dictatorship in 1991.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa