26 killed in hours-long al-Shabab hotel siege during political activity in Somalia

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A suicide car bomber and gunmen attacked a hotel where a political gathering was taking place in port city of Kismayo.

The death toll from Somalia’s Kismayo hotel attack rose to 26 on Saturday with victims including Kenyans, Americans, a Briton, a Canadian and Tanzanians.

A presidential candidate for upcoming regional elections was also killed in the attack, carried out by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab, Jubbaland President Ahmed Mohamed said in a statement.

More than 50 people were also wounded. Police in Kismayo earlier put the toll at 13.

Somalia’s security forces ended the overnight attack by the group in the southern port city after an hours-long siege.

“The operation is over. The four attackers were shot dead,” police officer Major Mohamed Abdi told Reuters news agency by telephone from Kismayo.

Al-Shabab members stormed the hotel after detonating a car bomb on Friday while local elders and legislators met to discuss approaching regional elections.

Politicians and journalists were among the dead.

“The operation was concluded at 7am… These are the prominent people. The death toll is sure to rise,” local elder Ahmed Abdulle said.

Via Al Jazeera 

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