Foreigners among 26 killed in Somalia hotel attack

Foreigners among 26 killed in Somalia hotel attack

A Kenyan, American, British and Tanzanian were among those killed, said Ahmed Madobe, President of the southern region of Jubaland, quoted by the news portal Afrikan News.

On Friday, the journalist dedicated to telling positive stories from a country suffering through decades of civil war, extremist attacks and starvation was killed along with her husband, Farid Jama Suleiman, entrepreneur Mahad Nur and at least 23 others after a bomb exploded outside the Asasey Hotel in the Somalian city of Kismayo and gunmen stormed inside.

Hassan Gesey, director of Mogadishu-based media outlet Radio Dalsan, confirmed to the Star that Hodan was killed in the attack along with her husband.

Somalia's al-Shabab Islamic rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack.

The targeted hotel is known to be frequented by politicians and lawmakers.

Madeira said AMISOM forces will continue to support the Somalia security forces as they continue to liberate areas that remain under the control of violent extremists.

"There are dead bodies and wounded people strewn inside the hotel. We are still fighting inside the hotel", he said.

The group is trying to topple the country's weak United Nations-backed government.

Colonel Salah Osman, a police officer who was part of the rescue operation on Friday night, told CNN that the attack began when a auto bomb exploded in a suicide blast at the gate of the Asasey, a heavily fortified hotel 500 km south of the capital Mogadishu. Many people have been rescued. The attacks were put to an end after officers managed to track down all four attackers, all of whom were shot and died from their injuries.

They added that the death toll could be high.

Somali Journalists Syndicate said in a statement that two journalists based in Kismayo had been confirmed dead in the attack.

It said Ms Nalayeh had recently returned from Canada. The victims included a prominent Canadian-Somali journalist.

The journalist was also the founder of the Somali Refugees Awareness Project, a lobby that advocates for Somali refugees across the world.

Witnesses said that among those killed were a well-known social media activist and a local journalist. "We're hopeful that we shall retrieve the doctors safely back home", the CS assured.

Kismayo resident Osman Nur told Reuters the explosion destroyed parts of the hotel and nearby businesses and security forces were deployed across the city.

Al Shabaab was forced out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011 and has since lost most of its other strongholds. In 2012, it was pushed out of Kismayo, whose port had been a major source of revenue for the group.

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