At least 10 people have been killed in Mogadishu after a suspected al-Shabaab militant crashed his vehicle into a gate outside a hotel frequented by diplomats and gunmen stormed the building.

The al-Qaida-affiliated militant group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack on the Hotel Ambassador in the Somali capital.

A Mogadishu police officer, Col Ali Mohamed, said: “We believe there are some fighters in the hotel but we are not sure.”

Another officer, Maj Ibrahim Hassan, added: “So far we have confirmed three people died and a dozen others injured.”