A car bomb went off on Friday outside a hotel in Somalia’s port city of Kismayu, a police officer said. The Islamist militant group al-Shabaab said it had carried out a suicide attack.
“A blast occurred in Hotel Asasey in the heart of Kismayu in Somalia, 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.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, said the militant group linked to al-Qaeda and who is trying to topple Somalia’s central government 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.”