'Several Dead' in Somalia Hotel Attack

Cheryl Sanders
July 13, 2019

At least 10 people including a local journalist were reportedly killed and several others wounded in a suicide vehicle bomb attack, targeting a busy hotel in Somalia's southern port city of Kismayo on Friday evening, officials said.

The attack on Friday, according to security forces killed at least seven people with death toll likely to rise.

"A blast took place in Hotel Asasey within the center of Kismayo, followed by gunfire".

"The relatives of a local journalist Mohamed Sahal confirmed his death and I'm getting that social media activist Hodan Naleye and her husband also died in the blast", another witness, Ahmed Farhan, said.

The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying their fighters broke into the hotel, killing several security forces.

"First we targeted [the hotel] with a suicide automobile bomb after which armed Mujahideen stormed the hotel".

A Somali-Canadian journalist who used her platform to share "uplifting and inspiring" cultural stories with global audiences was killed Friday, after a auto bomb exploded at a hotel in Somalia's port city of Kismayo.

"There is chaos inside, I saw several dead bodies carried from the scene and people are fleeing from the nearby buildings", he said. Local elders andlawmakers were having a meeting there.

According to the bits and pieces coming out from the city, the police is is still battling out with the fighters inside the hotel compound. "We are still fighting inside the hotel", said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab's military operation spokesman. "We control the hotel now".

Hussein Nur, a shopkeeper in Kismayo, told Reuters: "There were many people including officials and elders, mainly from one clan, who were discussing the upcoming Kismayo election".

Nur was referring to elections in the city due sometime in August.

It said Naleyeh had recently returned from Canada.

State-run Somali National News Agency said in a statement Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire had condemned the attack.

It was driven out of Kismayu in 2012.

Outside of Kismayu, al Shabaab still controls parts of Jubbaland, a region in southern Somalia.

Other reports by iNewsToday