At least 26 people, including two Americans, a Briton as well as Kenyans and a prominent Canadian-Somali journalist, have been killed in a car bomb and gun attack on a hotel in Somalia.
A suicide car bomber detonated outside the building where local elders and politicians were meeting, before three gunmen stormed inside and killed those left in the building.
It took security forces 11 hours to bring the overnight siege to an end, with two gunmen being killed and another captured alive, according to a regional president.
Fifty-six people, including two Chinese citizens, were injured in the assault which happened at the Asasey Hotel in the southern port city of Kismayo on Friday evening, according to the BBC.
The tragedy is amplified by the lack of response from those familiar with the horrors of Al-Shabab, which is a group of Islamist militants affiliated with al-Qaeda. The group remains a strong presence in rural Somalia and has carried out numerous attacks in the region.
Thus far, Rep. Ilhan Omar, who came to the United States from Somalia, has not issued any statement on the attack. One of the journalists killed by the militants is a Somali Canadian journalist Hodan Nalayeh. Her husband Farid was also killed in the attack, according to the BBC.
Her friend Farhan Jimale posted her photo on Twitter in remember of her saying “she was a bright star and a beautiful soul that represented the best of her people and homeland Somalia at all times.”
I’m saddened by the death of my dear friend the Somali Canadian journalist, Hodan Nalayeh, who was among those killed in today's attack in #Kismaayo. She was a bright star & a beautiful soul that represented the best of her people & homeland #Somalia at all times. RIP sister. pic.twitter.com/DGkEcTPED4
— Farhan Jimale (@farhanjimale) July 12, 2019