Terror attacks kill dozens in Somalia and Afghanistan

Somalia flag
Twenty-six were killed at a hotel in Somalia. Photo credit: Getty

At least 26 people were killed and 56 others injured in a deadly terrorist attack in the south Somalia's port Kismayo on Friday evening, officials said on Saturday.

Among those injured include two Chinese nationals, who were on an assessment mission in the region.

Jubbaland State president Ahmed Madobe said 10 foreigners from Kenya, Canada, America and Tanzania were among those killed when an al-Shabab suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into the popular Medina hotel (formerly Asasey) in Kismayo, before attackers forced their way inside the hotel.

Madobe said the attack at the hotel frequented by lawmakers and ministers was staged by four al-Shabab militants, noting that Jubbaland security forces managed to kill three of them while the fourth one was a suicide bomber.

The al-Qaida allied terrorist group, which is fighting to topple the international-backed government, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Al-Shabab is not just a Somali threat, it poses a transnational threat that needs international support. Today we lost many people of different nationalities. Let's increase our resolve and battle the militants in a different approach from which we have been employing," said Madobe.

The group still stages attacks against Somali and African Union peacekeeping forces, targeting their bases, hotels and other public places despite intensified operations from the allied forces.

Meanwhile, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 14 people and wounded 145 in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, an attack the government said raised questions about the militants' commitment to peace despite an expected deal with the United States.

There has been no let-up in violence in Afghanistan even though the Taliban and the United States appear close to a pact for US troops to withdraw in exchange for a Taliban promise that Afghanistan will not be used as a base for international terrorism.

The truck bomb in the west of the capital during the morning rush hour sent a huge cloud of grey smoke into the sky.

The Taliban said one of their suicide bombers had attacked a 'recruitment centre' in response to government attacks in the countryside.

Most of the dead and wounded were civilians, including women and children, government officials said.

"Continued Taliban attacks indicate that they have no commitment to peace," Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, told a news conference.

Reuters