Capt. Mohamed Hussein said Wednesday that dozens of people, including lawmakers, are thought to have been staying at Mogadishu’s Dayah hotel at the time of the morning attack.
He says heavy gunfire can still be heard inside the hotel. He has no immediate information about casualties.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab often carries out such assaults.
Despite being ousted from most of their key strongholds, the group continues to carry out deadly guerrilla attacks across large parts of south and central Somalia.