A car bomb went off on Friday at a hotel in Somalia’s port city of Kismayu where local elders and lawmakers were meeting to discuss an upcoming regional election.
A police officer said the blast was followed by gunfire.
The Islamist militant group, al Shabaab, which is linked to al Qaeda and is trying to topple Somalia’s central government, said it had carried out a suicide attack.
“A blast occurred in Hotel Asasey in the heart of Kismayu, followed by gunfire.
“Local elders and lawmakers were having a meeting there. It is too early to know if there are any casualties,’’ Major Mohamed Abdi, a police officer, told Reuters from Kismayu.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, said the militant group was behind the attack and that fighting was still going on.
“First we targeted (the hotel) with a suicide car bomb and then armed mujahideen (guerrilla fighters) stormed the hotel. We are still fighting inside the hotel,’ he said.
“There are many dead bodies inside the hotel, including a dead white man. We control the hotel now.’’
Hussein Nur, a shopkeeper in Kismayu, told Reuters: “There were many people including officials and elders, mostly from one clan, who were discussing the coming Kismayu election.’’
Al Shabaab was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds.
It was driven out of Kismayu in 2012. The city’s port had been a major source of revenue for the group.
- Bayelsa guber: Accept defeat, stop heating up polity, APC advises Gov. Dickson
- Thanksgiving: Cleric urges politicians to shun greed
- Foundation distributes 400 footwears to vulnerable children in Kaduna
- Jos consumers urge Plateau Govt. to check re-bagging of local rice
- Association urges SSCOE management to address viral hate speech by lecturer
- Akeredolu appoints three new aides
- Illegal operation: Lagos Govt. seals 24 pharmacies, patent medicine stores
- Association appeals to Enugu govt. for regular payment of pension, gratuity of teachers
- 2020 budget: Reps minority caucus promises to monitor implementation
- Cassava production: Scientists meet in Tanzania to review progress
- Don calls for service to Allah, as OAU MSSN inaugurates new executives
- FGGC Yola old girls pass vote of confidence on Saromi
- NAF partners US DOD to enhance medical, casualty evacuation capabilities
- 19-year-old Yahoo boy sets girlfriend ablaze over lover
- Foundation distributes 400 footwears to vulnerable children in Kaduna.
- Presidency dismisses insinuations over Sowore’s arrest, says Nigerians deserve peace
- Lagos Govt to launch App on annual cultural events
- Osinbajo to speak at UAE peace forum
- Adamawa APC rejects LG election results
- Restriction of Journalists covering Imo assembly activities, a dangerous precedent—Union
- Review: Sean Tizzle’s single ‘Contagious’, not enough for a hit record
- Katsina state govt. pays N208m WAEC fees for 21,589 candidates–Commissioner
- Opadokun, NADECO leader, seeks more libraries to boost reading culture
- Review: Teni Apata’s music, personality evolution draws mixed feelings
- Ministry of power seeks collaboration with agencies for improved power supply
- Kano State targets 3.8m children for meningitis vaccination
- Focus, Funding, keys to having to a great musical career- Toby
- Institute tasks FG on tourism, hospitality sector
- Boxing: NIDCOM boss, Dabiri-Erewa applauds Joshua’s victory over Ruiz Jr.
- Christmas: We are capable of meeting demands- Nasarawa Rice Millers
- Cleric urges Christians to live exemplary lives
- Nutrition Survey will lead to improved quality healthcare – Experts
- RIFAN urges FG to sustain border closure
- Fireboy DML debuts best album to close 2019
- Style Review: the return of pleated skirts
- National Public Safety Security System: Police Affairs Ministry sets up committee for smooth take-off
- Expert urges FG to sensitise Nigerians on $29.96bn foreign loan
- ‘Muna’ suggests new career angle for Adesua Etomi-Wellington
- BASA will strengthen cultural ties, deepen unity amongst personnel – CAS
- Nigeria on cause to raise Olympic champions in gymnastic – Coach Asuquo
- FG to introduce new visa regime to boost economy
- Expo 2020 in Dubai: What Benefits to Africa?
- Boxing: I’m happy Joshua won back his respect, says Isaac Ikhouria
- Boxing: Joshua takes revenge on Ruiz in Saudi Arabia rematch
- Buhari salutes Anthony Joshua on comeback victory
- DSS says Sowore’s rearrest video, mischief, meant for propagandist purpose
- NGO wants HIV test as component of routine ante natal care
- FG assures qualified teachers of good welfare, incentives
- Buhari mourns Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke
- Salome Abuh, PDP woman leader burnt to death, buried amid tears