Several gunmen flowed into the heavily fortified Asasey Hotel in Kismayo, about 500 km south of the capital of Mogadishu, after a car bomb was opened at the entrance gate, said police captain Mahad Abdia CNN .
Among the victims were Hodon Nayeh, a well-known publisher of Somali-Canada and YouTube star. The 43-year-old was critically injured in the attack and died at the hospital of his injuries, Abdia said. His wife also died in the attack.
The dead also include a regional president, tribal elders, and publishers, Abdia told CNN. Local officials are met in the hotel early in a regional election in August. Dozens of rescued, he said.
A terrorist group Al Shabaab agrees with a statement published on an affiliate website, stating that it targets Jubbaland state ministers, regional officials and federal officials, as well as hotel candidates.
Hassan Ali Khayre, Prime Minister of Somalia cursed "brutal attack" in a Friday statement, and sent condolences to relatives of the victims.
In his last tweet on Thursday, Nayeh is pondering the beauty of his country by sharing pictures from the island of Ilisi.
"We are sorry for the death of our two colleagues, Mohamed Sahal and Hodan Nayeh, who were both killed in a cowardly and ineffective terrorist attack," said Omar Faruk Osman, General Secretary of the National Union of Somali Journalist.
"Hodan and Mohamed's deaths speak of the ongoing dangers that publishers are facing Somalia," Osma added. "They are deeply focused on free media and the principles of a free media."