At least 26 people, including many foreigners, were killed and 56 injured in a suicide bomb and gun attack claimed by Al Shabaab militants on a popular hotel in southern Somalia, a top regional official said Saturday.

"Twenty-six people were killed in the attack and fifty-six others wounded, among those killed are... foreign nationals three Kenyans, one Canadian, one British, two Americans, and three Tanzanians. There are also two wounded Chinese citizens," regional president Ahmed Mohamed Islam told a news conference.

At least 12 people were killed and 30 others wounded when Al Shabab militants stormed a popular hotel in the southern Somalia town of Kismayo, security officials and witnesses said Saturday.

"The security forces are in control now and the last terrorist was shot and killed", Mohamed Abdiweli, a security official, said.

"There are dead bodies and wounded people strewn inside the hotel and we cannot give exact detail of the casualties but we have confirmed so far 12 people killed and more than thirty others wounded," Abdiweli said.

"We believe... there were four gunmen involved in the attack and the death toll could be higher because we see (the) devastating consequences of the (bomb) blast and gunfire," he added.

Witnesses said the hotel building was mostly destroyed in the attack which began Friday.

"The whole building is in ruins," Muna Abdirahman, a witness, said.

"The security forces have cordoned off the whole area. The attackers (were) wearing the Somali police uniform and their dead bodies are being dragged outside now," he said.

A Somali Canadian journalist and activist as well as a local journalist and several politicians were among the dead.