MOGADISHU, Somalia - At least two journalists were among the 26 people killed in the terror attack at a Somali hotel on Friday.
The attack took place in the port city of Kismayo where a suicide bomber reportedly drove a car packed with explosives into the Asasey Hotel. Three gunmen then stormed the building.
The terror group al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attack, the death toll fofr which has climbed to twenty-six, making it the worst to hit Kismayo since al-Shabab was forced out of the city in 2012.
Three Kenyans, 3 Tanzanians, two Americans, 1 Canadian and one Briton were among the dead, according to Colonel Salah Osman, a police officer who spoke to CNN.
Hodan Nalayeh, a high-profile Somali-Canadian journalist and YouTube star, was critically wounded during the attack and later died in hospital, police captain Mahad Abdia told CNN. Her husband Farid was also killed.
Another journalist, Mohamed Sahal Omar, who worked for the Puntland-based Somali Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), was shot dead while attempting to photograph the attackers inside the hotel, according to a statement by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) carried by CNN.
A presidential candidate for for next month's Jubbaland regional elections was also killed in the attack, Jubbaland state president Ahmed Mohamed Madobe said. A UN agency member was also among the dead.
Friday's attack took place around 4 months after al-Shabab set off two car bombs in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, which left more than twenty people dead, and many more injured.
UN News reported that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned the Kismayo attack,
The Secretary-General, in a statement, reaffirmed the support and solidarity of the United Nations with the people of Somalia in their pursuit of a peaceful future.
(Photo credit: BBC News).