An overnight attack on a hotel in Somalia's southern port city of Kismayu ahead of regional elections has killed 26 people.
The death toll from an attack on a hotel in Somalia's port city of Kismayu has risen to 26, with Kenyans, Americans, British and Tanzanians among the dead, Jubbaland region's president says.
A presidential candidate for upcoming regional elections was also killed in the assault by four militants, Jubbaland president Ahmed Mohamed said. At least two journalists and a UN staffer were also reportedly killed.
Police officer Major Mohamed Abdi earlier told Reuters security forces had ended the overnight attack and killed all four assailants.
Islamist group al-Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia's central government, on Friday claimed responsibility for the attack, which saw fighters storm the hotel after targeting it with a car bomb while local elders and lawmakers were meeting to discuss elections.
Regional president Mohamed said three Kenyans, one Briton, two Americans and three Tanzanians were among those killed. He added 56 people had been wounded in the attack, including two Chinese citizens.
The Somalia office of the UN's International Organisation for Migration also said one of its local staff members, Abdifatah Mohamed, was among those killed.
SADO Somalia, a local non-governmental organisation, said its executive director Abdullahi Isse Abdulle had been killed.
Al-Shabaab was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds, including Kismayu in 2012.
The city's port had been a major source of revenue for the group from taxes, charcoal exports and levies on arms and other illegal imports.
Kismayu is the commercial capital of Jubbaland, a region of southern Somalia still partly controlled by al-Shabaab.