Somali security forces ended on Saturday an attack by militants from the terrorist group Al Shabaab Mujahideen, against a hotel in the southern port city of Kismayo, killing at least 26 people.
Kenyans, Americans, Canadian, British, and Tanzanians are among the dead, while the four attackers were shot dead.
Kismayo is the commercial capital of Juba Land, an area in southern Somalia, which Al Shabaab Mujahideen are still partially controlling.
Members of the al Qaeda-linked group stormed the hotel after being targeted by a suicide car bomb on Friday while tribal elders and deputies were gathered to discuss the upcoming local elections.
A Somali security official told local media that the operation of ending the attack was over at 7 am on Saturday.
They also said that there are journalists among the dead. The Somali Syndicate of Journalists confirmed the death of Somali-Canadian journalist, Hodan Nalayeh, and journalist, Mohamed Sahl Omar.
Al Shabaab Mujahideen’s military operation’s spokesperson, Abdiasis abu Musab, said that the militant group had been behind the attack.
“First, we targeted the hotel with a suicide car bomb and then armed mujahideen stormed the hotel. We are still fighting inside the hotel,” he said.