Hotels

Hotel siege leaves 26 dead, 50 wounded

At least 26 people have been killed in a hotel siege in southern Somalia where a political gathering was taking place.

On Friday, a suicide bomber reportedly rammed a car containing explosives into the Assey Hotel, found in the south Somalia port city of Kismayo, where a meeting between local elders and legislators over upcoming regional elections was taking place.

Gunmen stormed the hotel, killing 26 people, with victims including Kenyans, Tanzanians, Americans, a Briton and a Canadian, as well as prominent Somali politicians. Police had initially put the death toll at 13.

More than 50 people were wounded in the siege.

Among the victims was Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Naleyah, her husband Jama Fariid, and SBC TV reported Mohamed Sahal Omar, who was based in Kismayo.

“Through her work as a journalist, Hodan highlighted the community’s positive stories and contributions in Canada. She became a voice for many. We mourn her loss deeply, and all others killed in the #KismayoAttack,” Canada’s immigration minister Ahmed Hussen wrote on Twitter.

A presidential candidate for an upcoming regional election was also reportedly among those killed in the siege.

The president of Jubbaland, an autonomous region in South Somalia, Ahmed Mohamed told Al Jazeera the attack was carried out by Al-Shabaab, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda. The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“First, we targeted [the hotel] with a suicide car bomb and then armed mujahideen [fighters] stormed the hotel,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab’s military operations spokesperson told Al Jazeera.

“There are many dead bodies inside the hotel, including a dead white man,” he said.

The attack lasted more than 14 hours before troops reportedly shot dead all four attackers in the hotel compound.

“The operation is over. The four attackers were shot dead,” police officer Major Mohamed Abdi told Reuters.

Jubbaland’s minister of planning, Just Aw Hersi, confirmed the deaths of several prominent Somalis.

“We are heartbroken by their sudden violent deaths. But rest assured, we are also as mad as hell because of it,” he tweeted.

The Somalia office of the UN’s International Organisation for Migration said Abdifatah Mohamed, one of its local staff members, was among those killed.

Local non-governmental organisation SADO Somalia said on Twitter its executive director Abdullahi Isse Abdulle had too been killed.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Virgin drops more than half a million Queensland airfares from $85

While its sale to Bain Capital is not yet set in stone, Virgin is still taking it to Qantas with a huge sale.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: New AFTA chief mingles, Tripadvisor trials customer-to-agent service + MORE

It’s finally Friday! Or, as we call it in the Travel Weekly office, Agent Wrap day. We also like to call it Wineday.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Bunnik Tours offers first-ever Aussie itinerary

The tour will be lead by Dennis Bunnik himself, complete with a visit to Bunnik House, just in case your clients want to see where all the magic happens.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

TEQ says Queensland is ‘Good to Go’ in new national campaign

Tourism and Events Queensland has unveiled a new campaign which, thankfully, doesn’t feature any nasty creatures like Irukandji jellyfish or Pauline Hanson.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

“Absolute game-changer”: Tour Atlas unveils white-label search engine for agents

Tour Atlas has been keeping busy during lockdown, launching what it thinks is a game-changing new service.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Pier One Sydney Harbour’s special industry offer, Raffles Bali opens + MORE

Grab your knife and fork, because we’ve got news for all tastes and budgets with this week’s smorgasbord of hotel delights.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

INFOGRAPHIC: What travel might look like in a socially-distant world

We love an infographic here at Travel Weekly, mainly because it means we don’t have to write as much and can put our feet up for a bit.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Queensland welcomes new cruise operator on Sunshine Coast

Here’s some swell cruise news that is sure to lift the spirits of industry professionals and travellers alike.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

New rule in place at Sydney Airport after passengers disembark Melbourne flight without COVID-19 screening

by Christian Fleetwood

A screening bungle at Sydney Airport has prompted a shift in the way NSW arrivals are screened going forward. Click here to read what you can expect.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Visit California gets cheeky with new text message campaign

The US state is sliding into travellers’ DMs with a string of text messages that seem more like they’re from a clingy ex than a destination.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Desperate travellers board flight to… nowhere

If you thought you were missing travel, wait until you see what avid travellers have been up to in Taiwan.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Australia’s inbound and domestic tourism spend falls by $6 billion

We’ve broken down Tourism Research Australia’s quarterly snapshot so that you don’t have to. And by “broken down”, we mean we skim read it and took a punt.

Share

CommentComments