Fire and smoke rises from an explosion in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. An upscale hotel complex in Kenya's capital came under attack on Tuesday, with a blast and heavy gunfire. The al-Shabab extremist group based in neighboring Somalia claimed responsibility and said its members were still fighting inside. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

JOHANNESBURG - At least three people have reportedly been killed in an ongoing attack, claimed by militant group Al Shabaab, on the Dusit Hotel in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. 

An urgent appeal for blood has been made by Avenue Hospital in Parklands after a number of those injured were rushed to hospital. Other hospitals are expected to follow suit.

The incident involving several explosions and an exchange of gunfire began earlier in the afternoon in the Westland district of the capital which also houses a bank and a number of offices. Local television showed smoke rising from a compound in the district of the city.

Special forces have cordoned off the area with reports of people still trapped inside the hotel.

African News Agency (ANA)