At least 12 people including a prominent Canadian-Somali journalist have been killed in an 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

Journalist Hodan Naleyah and her husband are thought to be among the dead.

Al-Shabab group has claimed the attack.

Regional politicians and clan elders were inside the hotel discussing a forthcoming regional election at the time of the attack.

Witnesses said they heard gunfire inside the hotel soon after the car bomb went off.

Authorities later said the attack was over, with four gunmen killed.