Five civilians were killed on Sunday in a gun battle between militant Islamists and security forces at a hotel in the Somalia capital, Mogadishu, news agencies report quoting the police spokesperson.

“The operation is over now. Nine people including four attackers died and over 10 civilians were injured,” Sadik Ali is quoted as saying.

The security forces ended the assault at Afrik Hotel, which is popular with government officials, early on Monday.

President Mohamed Farmaajo said among those killed was a former military general:

“I ask God to have mercy on the Somali citizens who lost their lives in this barbaric attack, and I extend my deepest condolences on the death of General Mohamed Nur Galal, a veteran of the Somali army,” he tweeted:

Three attackers were shot dead while another detonated a suicide bomb, according to the AFP news agency.

Al-Shabab militant group, which is linked to al-Qaeda, claimed the Sunday attack.