Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 4-Death toll in hotel attack in Somalia's Kismayo jumps to 26 - regional president

Reuters | Kismayo | Updated: 13-07-2019 16:17 IST | Created: 13-07-2019 16:03 IST
UPDATE 4-Death toll in hotel attack in Somalia's Kismayo jumps to 26 - regional president
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Islamist gunmen killed 26 people, including Kenyans, Americans, a Briton and Tanzanians, when they stormed a hotel in Somalia's southern port city of Kismayo, a regional state president said on Saturday, the deadliest day in the city since insurgents were driven out in 2012. A car bomb exploded at the hotel where local elders and lawmakers were having a meeting on Friday night, and then three gunmen stormed in, police said. It took 11 hours before security forces ended the overnight attack, police officer Major Mohamed Abdi told Reuters.

The dead included a presidential candidate for August's regional elections, Jubbaland state president Ahmed Mohamed Madobe said in a statement. At least two journalists and a U.N. agency staff member were also reported to have been killed. Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia's weak U.N.-backed government, immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Regional president Madobe said that three Kenyans, one Briton, two Americans and three Tanzanians were among those killed. "Among the dead was also a Jubbaland presidential candidate named Shuuriye. Four militants attacked the hotel. One of them was the suicide car bomber, two were shot dead and one was captured alive by Jubbaland security forces," he said.

He said 56 people were wounded in the attack, including two Chinese citizens. Police had said earlier all the attackers had been killed.

Jubbaland's minister of planning, Just Aw Hersi, confirmed the deaths of several prominent Somalis on Twitter. "We admit, we are heartbroken by their sudden violent deaths. But rest assured, we are also as mad as hell because of it," he tweeted.

NAMING THE DEAD The Somalia office of the U.N.'s International Organization for Migration said on Twitter one of its local staff members, Abdifatah Mohamed, was among those killed.

SADO Somalia, a local non-governmental organization, also said on Twitter its executive director Abdullahi Isse Abdulle had been killed in the attack. A journalists' group had confirmed on Friday that two journalists were among the dead; Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Naleyah, the founder of Integration TV, and Mohamed Sahal Omar, reporter of SBC TV in Kismayo.

Jubbaland President Madobe said Jama Fariid, Naleyah's husband, had also been killed. Separately, Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, general secretary of the Federation of Somali Journalists, said in a statement: "We are saddened and outraged by this loss of life, and condemn in the strongest possible terms this appalling massacre."

Al Shabaab was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds. It was driven out of Kismayo in 2012 by Kenyan forces supporting a regional militia headed by Mohamed. The city's port had been a major source of revenue for the group from taxes, charcoal exports and levies on arms and other illegal imports.

Kismayo is the commercial capital of Jubbaland, a region of southern Somalia still partly controlled by al Shabaab. Al Shabaab remains a major security threat, with fighters frequently carrying out bombings in Somalia and neighboring Kenya, whose troops form part of the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force that helps defend the Somali government.

It is scheduled to have parliamentary elections this month and presidential elections next month. But relations between Somalia's central government and its federal states have sometimes been rocky amid arguments over power and resources.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Poor on IHR capacity progress in 2019, WHO says Cambodia tops COVID-19 response

Despite being in proximity to Hubei, the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia has reported just 226 confirmed cases and zero deaths. After seeing the data, WHO appreciated Cambodias healthcare information system but experts dou...

Loopholes in Healthcare Information System may have failed Singapore COVID-19 model

In the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore was in the limelight for its effective healthcare system and pandemic response plan. However, Singapore has now joined the list of the worst-hit nations and the situation is even worse...

Australia's COVID-19 response: Digital infrastructure of help but implementation remains a challenge

Australias ongoing plans to upgrade its health information system helped by the Digital Health Strategy seem even more practical due to the pandemic. But as evident during the pandemic, administrative lapses and the complex matrix of power ...

Videos

Latest News

Vietnam says early August "decisive" in containing coronavirus outbreak

Vietnam is embroiled in a decisive fight against the novel coronavirus, its premier said on Monday, focusing on the city of Danang where infections have appeared in four factories with a combined workforce of 3,700. Widely praised for its m...

Expression of opinion cannot constitute contempt of court: Prashant Bhushan to SC

The expression of opinion, however outspoken, disagreeable or unpalatable to some, cannot constitute contempt of court, activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan said on Monday in his reply to a show cause notice issued by the Supreme Court. The top...

Lebanese foreign minister quits over slow reforms, Aoun adviser takes over

Lebanon named the presidents diplomatic adviser as new foreign minister on Monday after Nassif Hitti quit the post, blaming a lack of political will to enact reforms to halt a financial meltdown which he warned could turn Lebanon into a fai...

Lebanese foreign minister quits over lack of will to reform

Lebanons foreign minister resigned on Monday amid a severe economic and financial crisis gripping the Arab country, warning that a lack of vision and a will to make changes is risking turning Lebanon into a failed state. Nassif Hitti is t...

Give Feedback