Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Several dead as gunmen storm Somali hotel

Several dead as gunmen storm Somali hotel

Hodan Nalayeh, a Somali-Canadian journalist, was killed in an attack at the Medina Hotel in Somalia's port city of Kismayo, on Friday.

The latest information emerging from a hotel which the Al Qaeda-linked, Al Shabaab militants raided late afternoon in the coastal Somalia city of Kismayu disclose that the death toll is rising but can not be factually reported up to this moment as fighting for supremacy for the hotel grounds is still on.

Among those killed were popular TV journalist Hodan Nalayeh and her husband, reports say. It said its fighters had battled their way into the hotel after a suicide vehicle bomb attack.

Nalayeh and her husband Farid Jama Suleiman died after gunmen stormed the Asasey Hotel in Kismayo. Local elders and lawmakers were having a meeting there.

He said the victims include two journalists. "It is too early to know if there are any casualties", Major Mohamed Abdi, a police officer, told Reuters from Kismayu.

Around 5.30pm a suicide auto bomber followed by firefight which targeted Madina Hotel - formerly known as Cas-casey Hotel - in Kismayo where both journalists were staying.

Security forces said that their priority is to rescue hostages held in the hotel.

"Mujahidin fighters carried out a martyrdom attack on one of the hotels accommodating the apostate officials of the Jubaland administration", an autonomous southern zone in the troubled country whose main city is Kismayo, the group said. "We control the hotel now".

Nur became as soon as relating to elections within the metropolis due one day in August.

Al-Shabab was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds.

The militant group emerged from Islamic Courts that once controlled central and southern Somalia and are variously estimated to number between 5,000 and 9,000 men.

It remains a vital security threat, with warring parties recurrently undertaking bombings in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, whose troops create section of the African Union-mandated peacekeeping power that helps shield the Somali authorities.

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