KISMAYO, Somalia – After 12 hours of fighting, Jubaland state forces killed the last attacker of a group of heavily-armed Al-Shabab insurgents who attacked a Hotel in the port city of Kismayo on Friday, Axadle reports.
Jubaland president Ahmed Madobe said in a statement that 26 people were killed and 56 others wounded in the suicide bomb and gun attack on As’asey hotel claimed by Al-Shabab militant group.
President Madobe has confirmed that the dead included 3 Kenyans, 1 Canadian, 1 British, 2 American and 3 Tanzanians, who were at the popular hotel at the time of the complex attack by the extremists.
A Canadian-Somali TV personality Hodan Nalayeh and her husband who served as Jubaland trade minister, Farid Jama were among those killed in an attack by Al-Shabab extremist on the upscale hotel.
“I’m absolutely devastated by the news of the death of our dear sister Hodan Nalayeh and her husband in a terrorist attack in Somalia today. What a loss to us. Her beautiful spirit shined through her work and the way she treated people,” Omar Suleiman, a Texas-based imam who knew the victim, wrote on social media.
The regional troops ended the siege after killing all attackers estimated 4, including one who rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into the entrance gate, to allow the militants to enter the hotel building.
“The operation is over and the building is now controlled by the security forces. The three militants were shot dead, their bodies are inside the building,” a police officer told journalist.
A local police officer said the attack lasted more than 14 hours before troops shot dead all attackers inside the hotel compound.
It was the longest that the militants had held a position in Kismayo since Somali troops backed by Kenyan military forced the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab fighters out of the city in 2012.
The attack on the hotel comes Jubaland state is preparing to hold its parliamentary and presidential elections next month with numerous candidates, including incumbent leader vying for the top seat.
The U.S. forces carried out air strikes that killed many militants in the Al-Shabab-controlled area in Jubaland state as part of an escalation of Washington’s fight against the al Qaeda-linked group.
AXADLE MEDIA GROUP