26 dead as gunmen storm Somali hotel
MOGADISHU, July 13: Twenty-six people were killed and 56 injured in a 12-hour attack by Al-Shabaab jihadists on a popular hotel that ended early Saturday in the southern Somali port city of Kismayo.
A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into the Medina hotel on Friday before several heavily armed gunmen forced their way inside, shooting as they went, authorities said.
It was the largest coordinated attack by the Shabaab in Kismayo since 2012 when it lost control of the city.
The victims included several foreigners and a prominent Somali-Canadian journalist, Nodan Halayeh, who perished along with her husband.
Three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans, one Briton and one Canadian were among the dead, president Ahmed Mohamed Islam of the semi-autonomous Jubaland region told a news conference.
"There are also two wounded Chinese citizens," he added.
The hotel was packed with politicians and prominent businessmen as meetings were underway for upcoming presidential elections in Jubaland, due in August.
One of the candidates in the election died in the siege, local authorities said. -AFP