Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in Bosasso, according to its news agency Amaq. A group declaring allegiance to Islamic State has been active in the Puntland region in recent months.
The senior official had earlier blamed Islamists from al Shabaab, but a spokesman for the Somali group denied this.
Three fighters stormed the International Village Hotel, Yusuf Mohamed, the governor of Bari region, told Reuters “Four guards and two of the attackers died in the fighting,” he said.
He said the militants had managed to enter the compound but not the main building of the hotel, which is popular with foreigners.
Islamist leader Abdiqadir Mumin broke away from the main al Shabaab insurgency in 2015 and swore allegiance to Islamic State. Experts says the group’s strength is unclear, but he may have fighters numbering in the low hundreds under his command.
However, experts say his group has no known operational links to Islamic State in the Middle East.
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