At least seven people were killed in an attack on a hotel in southern Somalia, officials and survivors said.
They said that a suicide bomb exploded by a car with explosives at the Asasey hotel in Kismayo harbor, and gunmen then struck the building.
Regional politicians and racial elders are in the hotel. Among those killed were TV's Hodan Naleyeh and his wife, according to reports.
Islamist group Al Shabab ultimately said it was conducting a Friday attack.
The inside of the hotel will be burned as soon as the car bomb goes down. 19659007] It is not clear immediately if the invaders are still in the building.
Security officer Abdi Dhuhul told the AFP that the former local minister of administration and a lawmaker were among the dead.
Local media outlets and a Somalia publisher association said Hodan Naleyeh – a Canadian-Somali who recently reported back to the country – and his wife Farid was among the dead in the attack .
Hodan Naleyeh set up a popular online TV channel covering Somalia and living in Somalia's diallora.
Somali Journalist Syndicate said Nalayeh and another reporter died in Kismayo, Mohamed Omar Sahal, the first journalist killed in the country this year.
Al Shabab was expelled by Kismayo in 2012, and the port was somewhat peaceful in recent years – unlike many other places in southern and central Somalia.
The militants bring more frequent attacks on the capital of Mogadishu, despite the heavy presence of peacekeepers of the African Union and a US-trained Somali army.