Hotel attack leaves at least 10 dead in Somalia

Posted Friday, 12 July 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At least 10 people were killed and dozens injured in an attack on a hotel in Somalia's port city of Kismayo on Friday, according to police.Several gunmen stormed the heavily fortified Asasey Hotel in Kismayo, about 500 km south of the capital Mogadishu, after detonating a car bomb at the entrance gate, Somali police captain Mahad Abdia told CNN.Among the dead are a regional president, tribal elders and journalists, Abdia told CNN. Dozens of regional officials and MPs have been rescued, he said. Local officials and elders were meeting inside the hotel ahead of a regional election in August.Terror group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement published on an affiliated website, saying it targeted Jubbaland state ministers, regional and federal lawmakers, as well as candidates in the hotel.Hassan Ali Khayre, Somalia's Prime Minister condemned "the brutal attack" in a statement Friday, and sent condolences to the relatives of the victims.Among the dead are two journalists, including renowned Somali-Canadian journalist Hodon Naleyeh, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)."We mourn the senseless deaths of our two colleagues, Mohamed Sahal and Hodan Nalayeh, who were both murdered in a cowardly and senseless terrorist attack," Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General, said in a statement. "The death of Hodan and Mohamed speaks of the continuing hazards that journalists face in Somalia," Osma added. "They were deeply committed to independent journalism and the principles of a free media."The Somali town of Kismayo was once considered an Al-Shabaab stronghold. It was recaptured in 2012, prompting the return of least 1,000 families.

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