26 Dead as Somali Forces End Extremist Siege of Kismayo Hotel

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Somali forces Saturday morning ended an all-night siege on a hotel in the southern port city of Kismayo, in which the death toll has risen to 26 people, including a prominent Canadian-Somali journalist and several foreigners, officials say.

Those killed include three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans, one Canadian and one Briton, said Ahmed Madobe, the president of Jubbaland regional state which controls Kismayo. Fifty-six people, including two Chinese, were injured in the hotel attack, he told reporters.

At least four al-Shabab assailants attacked the Asasey Hotel on Friday evening, beginning with a suicide car bomb at the entrance gate and followed by an assault by gunmen who stormed the hotel, which is frequented by politicians, patrons and lawmakers.

The attack lasted more than 14 hours before troops shot dead all attackers inside the hotel compound, Col. Abdiqadir Nur, a local police officer, told.

Kwame Asare

Kwame Asare