US-backed Somali Authorities say they have stopped an attack claimed by jihadist freedom group Al-Shabaab on popular hotel in the Somali port of Kismayo, but prominent public figures are among those killed.

The foreign backed security forces are in control now and the last opposition fighter was shot and killed,” Mohamed Abdiweli, a security official, told AFP.

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.

During the Friday attack, a suicide bomber drove a truck laden with explosives into the hotel, followed by gunmen, who began to mow down those gathered in public spaces.

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.

RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.

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