Kismayo: Nine civilians were killed in an attack on a hotel in Somalia's port city Kismayo on Sunday, media reports said.
The assault began at 09:45 GMT when a car laden with explosives plunged into the hotel Tawakal's gate which led to the incident. Later, the security forces killed the gunmen. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the al-Shabab armed group, reported Al Jazeera.
The security officers killed three of the attackers and a fourth died in the bomb blast, said Yussuf Hussein Dhumal, security minister for Jubbaland, Somalia.
"In the explosion, nine people including students and civilians were killed and 47 others were injured, some of them seriously," Dhumal said and added that "the hotel where the explosion happened was near a school so many students were injured."
"This is not a government target," said police officer Abdullahi Ismail. "It is just an ordinary, civilian-frequented hotel." Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab's military operation spokesperson, said the group intended to strike Jubbaland region's administrators who work from the hotel.
Earlier, nearly 30 hours after Al-Shabaab terrorists stormed Hayat Hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, the siege that left dozens of people dead has ended, media reports said citing government forces.
During that incident, 40 people died and over 70 were injured from the attack by al-Shabaab terrorists, the Sputnik news agency reported citing Somali Guardian. Al-Shabaab's spokesperson Abdiasis Abu Musab had said the group repelled more than 15 attacks launched by the government troops.
Somalia collapsed as a unified nation in 1991 with the downfall of the Siad Barre's dictatorship.
The international community recognized the federal government as the only legitimate authority, which controls the capital of Mogadishu and several other areas.
Al-Shabaab, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda terrorist group, has been waging an armed struggle against the government of Somalia and is still controlling large areas in the southern and central parts of the country.
Back in May, the United States decided to renew strikes against the group's positions to combat the growing threat posed by al-Shabaab to US partner forces, according to the Russian news agency.
13 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in the recent US airstrike in Somalia on August 14, according to the US Africa Command, the report added.
The international community condemned the terrorist attack on a popular hotel in Mogadishu. "The UN wishes a speedy recovery for the injured, and expresses its solidarity with all Somalis in their against terrorism," the UN in Somalia said.
The EU on its part strongly condemned the cowardly attack on the Hayat Hotel and shared its heartfelt condolences with those affected by the violence. The 27-member bloc said that the attacks will not derail efforts to help and stabilize Somalia.
India also condemned the attack on the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu in the strongest words. It also expressed heartfelt condolences to the family of the victims and assured India stands with the Government and people of Somalia in their fight against terrorism.
"India strongly condemns the attack on Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu and expresses heartfelt condolences to the victims and families of this cowardly act of terrorism. India stands with the Government and people of Somalia in their fight against terrorism," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had tweeted.