At least 26 people been killed in a terrorist attack on a hotel in southern Somalia.
A suicide bomber rammed a car containing explosives into the Asasey hotel in the port of Kismayo, and gunmen then stormed the building.
Among the dead include several prominent journalist.
Islamist terror group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
A local politician, three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans and and one Briton were also killed, authorities said.
When the attack happened several regional politicians were inside the hotel discussing the forthcoming regional election. Witnesses said they heard a huge blast before several heavily armed men forced their way in.
It took several hours for authorities to regain control over the hotel.
Regional President Ahmed Mohamed put the death toll at 26 with more than 50 people wounded. Four attackers were also killed in the raid.
Among the victims was journalist Nalayeh and her husband. Nalayeh founded the media platform Integration TV to tell stories about life in Somalia and in the Somali diaspora. She moved to Canada with her family when she was six years old and went on to become a figurehead of the Somali community there. But the mother of two had recently returned to Somalia.
Al-Shabaab is affiliated with al-Qaeda has has great rural presence. These militants carry out regular attacks even though there are heavy presence of African Union peacekeepers and US-trained Somali troops.
Source : Various