Somalia car bomb and Kismayu hotel shooting leave nine dead

Gunfire erupted after an explosives-laden vehicle crashed through the hotel gate. Civilians and students died

A car bomb and shooting at a hotel in the Somali city of Kismayu killed nine personalities on Sunday before security forces ended the siege on the hotel and killed the attackers, a local official said. Gunfire erupted after an explosives-laden vehicle crashed through the gate of the Tawakal hotel in the port city. The al-Shabaab militant group, linked to Al Qaeda, said it had carried out the attack.”In the explosion, nine personalities, including students and civilians, were killed and 47 others were injured, some of them seriously,” Jubbaland Security Minister Yussuf Hussein Dhumal told Reuters.”The hotel where the explosion occurred was near a school, so many students were injured.”Security forces killed three of the attackers and a fourth died in the bomb blast, Dhumal said.Before the attack, a meeting was being held at the hotel to plan how to combat Al Shabaab, Farah Mohamed, a security official, told Reuters from Kismayu.Mohamed Nur, a police captain, and Farah Ali, a shopkeeper in Kismayu, told Reuters that the explosion at the hotel preceded the shooting.The video images of the Somali National Television published on its Twitter account showed the security individual loading one of the wounded into an ambulance.Abdiasis Abu Musab, a spokesman for the al-Shabaab military operation, said the group was behind the attack, which he said targeted administrators from the Jubbaland region who work from the hotel.Kismayu is the commercial capital of Jubbaland, a region in southern Somalia still partly controlled by Al Shabaab.Al Shabaab was expelled from Kismayu in 2012. The city’s port had been a major source of income for the group from taxes, coal exports and levies on weapons and other illegal imports.In 2019, a comparable attack on another hotel in Kismayu killed at least 26 personalities. The group is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s main government and impose its own government based on a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law. It has killed thousands of Somalis and hundreds of civilians across East Africa in a decade-long insurgency.Somali security forces say they have made gains on the battlefield against al-Shabaab in recent weeks while fighting alongside local self-defense groups, but the group has continued to carry out deadly raids

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