The bombing was followed by a heavy gunfire.
Hodan Nalayeh, a Somali-Canadian journalist who built a career telling uplifting stories of the Somali community, has died in a hotel attack in Somalia, according to local media.
Jubaland region State Security Official Gulled Adan told Anadolu Agency over phone from Kismayo that a suicide auto bomb blast targeted the Cas-casey hotel in central Kismayo, which was followed by gunfire, killing at least 10 people and wounding several others.
"First we targeted [the hotel] with a suicide automobile bomb after which armed Mujahideen stormed the hotel".
The As-Aseey Hotel in Kismayo is reported to be still under attack by militants. "We control the hotel now".More news: Xi urged Trump to ease N. Korea sanctions - Beijing
Al-Shabaab did claim responsibility for the attack in a statement.
Hotel Asasey which was attacked is in the heart of the Kismayo town.
He said most of the victims were patrons of the hotel, which is often frequented by lawmakers and local officials.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab's militia operation spokesman, mentioned the militant crew became as soon as at the back of the attack and that combating became as soon as restful going on. "We management the hotel now".
According to the Somali Journalists Syndicate, Mohamed Omar Sahar, an SBC TV correspondent based in Kismayo and Hodan Naleyeh, a television journalist and founder of Integration TV, were both killed in the attack.More news: Facebook Event Promotes Raid on Area 51 in Amargosa Valley, Nevada
Hussein Nur, a shopkeeper in Kismayu, told Reuters: "There were many people including officials and elders, mostly from one clan, who were discussing the coming Kismayu election".
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she was saddened to learn of Nalayeh's death.
Al Shabab was driven out of Kismayo in 2012, and the port has been relatively peaceful in recent years - unlike many other places in southern and central Somalia. The metropolis's port had been a vital source of earnings for the crew from taxes, charcoal exports and levies on hands and other unlawful imports.
Outside of Kismayo, al-Shabaab still controls parts of Jubbaland, a region in southern Somalia.
"Several gunmen entered and started shooting but the security forces responded quickly and engaged in a gunfight with the terrorists inside the building", he added.More news: Historic vote on equal marriage and abortion rights for NI welcomed