Somali-Canadian journalist killed in Somalia hotel attack World 06:33

Clay Curtis
July 13, 2019

At least seven people have been killed in a suicide bomb and gun attack claimed by al-Shabaab militants on a hotel in southern Somalia, a security official said.

Al-Shabab, which is trying to topple the Somali government, said it carried out the suicide attack.

Members of the al-Qaeda linked group stormed the hotel after targeting it with a auto bomb on Friday while local elders and lawmakers were meeting to discuss approaching regional elections.

Abdi Ahmed, a local district official, told The Associated Press Friday night that the death toll may rise as fighting is continuing inside the Asasey Hotel between the extremist gunmen and security forces.

"The militants drove into the hotel and made way into the building after detonating bombs".

"First, we targeted [the hotel] with a suicide vehicle bomb and then armed mujahideen [fighters] stormed the hotel", said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab's military operations spokesman.

"On behalf of the Somali Journalists Syndicate and the Somali media fraternity, we send our honest condolences to the families, colleagues and friends who lost the two journalists Hodan Naleyeh and Mohamed Omar Sahal", Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the Secretary General of Somali Journalists Syndicate said.

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"I am so sad and shocked to learn of the tragic death of @HodanTV and her husband Farid in a terrorist attack, along with other victims of this hate-fuelled violence", Horwath said on Twitter. Local officials had been meeting inside the hotel ahead of a regional election in August. "We are still fighting inside the hotel", he said.

"There are many unnecessary our bodies all throughout the hotel, including a unnecessary white man".

Somali Journalists Syndicate said in a statement that Hodan Nalayeh died along with another journalist, Mohamed Omar Sahal.

It was driven out of Kismayo in 2012.

Kismayu is the commercial capital of Jubbaland, a region of southern Somalia still partly controlled by al Shabaab.

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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