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26 Killed in Somali Hotel Attack; Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility

By Politicized News

· Global Affairs

Twenty-six people have been confirmed dead, along with two American citizens, after an attack on a hotel in Kismayo, Somalia. Witnesses say a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into the lobby of the Asasey hotel, detonated it, and allowed other gunmen to storm the building. Terrorists took control of the hotel, killing everyone in sight. "There is chaos inside, I saw several dead bodies carried from the scene, and people are fleeing from the nearby buildings," one witness told the BBC. It took Somali military forces several hours to eliminate the terrorist threat. 

Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which targeted a meeting of state ministers, state elders, and journalists who were all staying at the hotel. Hodan Nalayeh, a prominent Somali-Canadian journalist and YouTuber was killed in the attack, along with her husband, Farid. Mohamed Sahal Omar, another journalist, was killed while attempting to document the attack.
Al-Shabab, which is deeply affiliated to al Qaeda, has been known to use this style of attack in the past. The United States has deployed about 500 personnel to Somalia, as well as carried out airstrikes targeting Al-Shabab leaders in recent years, but there are plans to scale back the military's role in the country.

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