Alwaght- At least 26 people, including journalists and politicians, have been killed in a suicide bomb and gun attack on a hotel in southern Somalia.
Authorities on Friday said a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into the popular Medina hotel in the port city of Kismayo, which was followed by a gunfight.
A regional politician told Reuters that at least 26 people are dead and over 30 injured, but the death toll could rise, as bodies are still being recovered from the lobby of the Medina hotel.
Reports indicate the hotel was occupied by local politicians and officials ahead of a local election. A candidate for the regional presidency and a prominent local journalist are said to be among the victims.
Al-Shabab militant group, which is believed to be linked to al-Qaeda and is trying to topple the Somali government, claimed the responsibility for the suicide attack.