By RFIPalled on 13-07-2019Modified on 13-07-2019 at 01:18

At least seven people were killed in a car bomb attack followed by gunfire at the As-Asey Hotel, the port city of the port city of Kismayo in southern Somalia. The attack claimed by the shebabs began in the late afternoon and continued into the night.

" We confirmed the deaths of seven people, including a former local government minister and a member of Parliament. The balance sheet could increase because the attack is not over yet , "said AFP security officer, Abdi Dhuhul.

A report that could of course get heavier over the hours. The Somali Syndicate of Journalists reports that two journalists have been killed, bringing the number of casualties to at least nine.

NUSOJ mourns the deaths of two #Somali journalists in suicide bombing #Somalia

NUSOJ (@NUSOJofficial) July 12, 2019

A witness, again quoted by AFP, describes the violence of the attack: " The explosion was huge, " says Hussein Muktar. " Then armed men came in and exchanged fire with the security forces. It was chaos inside. I saw, he continues, several deaths (...) and people were running away, "he adds.

According to several local sources, the hotel housed mainly businessmen and politicians who were in town for the preparation of the presidential election in the semi-autonomous region of Jubaland, scheduled for late August.

This is not the first time shebabs have been doing this type of operation. They were chased out of Kismayo in 2012 . But the region, Jubbaland, is still partially under their control.

With AFP

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