Hotel attack leaves at least 10 dead in Somalia

A general view shows people at the scene of a suicide car explosion at a check point near Somali Parliament building in Mogadishu Somalia

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

"Through her work as a journalist, she highlighted the community's positive stories and contributions in Canada, and became a voice for many", said Hussen, who is also a Somali-Canadian.

The Islamist militant crew al-Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaeda and is attempting to plunge Somalia's central authorities, mentioned it had conducted a suicide attack.

According to the sources, the hotel was first struck by a bomb blast, then assailants launched gunfire.

Witnesses said among those killed was a well-known social media activist, her husband and a local journalist.

"There is chaos inside, I saw several dead bodies carried from the scene and people are fleeing from the nearby buildings". "We control the hotel now".

Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operation spokesman, said the militant group had been behind the attack. "We management the hotel now".

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Al Shabaab fighters have stormed Hotel Asasey where a meeting of legislators was in progress.

A prominent journalist and her husband are reported to be among the victims in the attack in Kismayo.

According to the Somali Journalists Syndicate, Mohamed Omar Sahar, an SBC TV correspondent based in Kismayo and Hodan Naleyeh, a television journalist and founder of Integration TV, were both killed in the attack.

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

It says she had recently returned to Somalia from Canada, where she attended school and worked as a journalist on TV programs in Toronto.

"Several gunmen entered and started shooting but the security forces responded quickly and engaged in a gunfight with the attackers inside the building", he said.

Kismayu is the commercial capital of Jubbaland, a region of southern Somalia still partly controlled by al Shabaab.

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