Mohamed Yusuf Omar Madale said those who died in the Wednesday attack on the Jazeera hotel in the capital Mogadishu included three of the attackers, CNN reported.
Other victims included five security personnel, with the rest civilians
Gen. Abdihakin Dahir Saacid, the police chief, told Somali official news media the assault began with a car loaded with explosives that struck a police car outside the hotel.
"Another car loaded with explosives blew up during the rescue operation and the terrorist fighters trying to enter the hotel were killed on the spot," Saacid said.
Al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamist group, had been broadcasting messages on its radio station urging civilians to stay away from government facilities because of attacks planned for Dec. 31, the New York Times said. The group had not taken responsibility for the attack on the Jazeera late Wednesday.
In September 2012, a suicide bombing aimed at President Hassan Sheik Mohamud, who was holding a news conference at the Jazeera with the foreign minister of Kenya, killed an African Union peacekeeper.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]