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15 killed in an attack on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu

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MOGADISHU — At least 15 people have been killed in an attack on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu that was swiftly claimed by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab militants, police said.

The death toll includes guards, civilians and militants.

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of a hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, which was followed by a second explosion as gunmen fought their way inside the building.

Armed group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack on the Nasa Hablod hotel in a statement distributed through social networks online.

A spokesman for Al Shabaab said the death toll was at least 20 guards and civilians — numbers of casualties cited by the Government are often lower than those reported by Al Shabaab.

The assault was led by a suicide attacker driving a car laden with explosives, Al Shabaab said in a statement distributed through the Telegram smartphone app.

The Naasa Hablood hotel in southern Mogadishu is often used by politicians and members of the Somali diaspora visiting the city.

Somali security forces cordoned off access to the neighbourhood in which the hotel is located, an AFP photographer said.

Saturday’s attack came just three weeks after another assault quickly claimed by Al Shabaab on the city’s Ambassador hotel left 10 dead, including two MPs, when a huge car bomb ripped the front off the six-storey building.

Agencies

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Govt to present its policies and programmes Monday

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KATHMANDU — The government is preparing to present its policies and programs for the fiscal year 2018/19 at the Federal Parliament on Monday.

According to Joint Spokesperson at the Federal Parliament Secretariat Keshav Aryal, all preparations are over for the release of the government policies and programs to be made by the President Bidya Devi Bhandari from New Baneshwor-based Federal Parliament Building at 4:00 pm Monday.

President Bhandari would unveil the government policies and programs for the first time in the joint meeting of the Federal Parliament after the promulgation of the new constitution.

As per the constitution, the President can address any of the House meeting or the joint meeting of the Federal Parliaments and summon the lawmakers for their presence.

Vice President, top leaders of different political parties, high-ranking government officials, chiefs of the constitutional bodies, chiefs of the security bodies and chiefs of the diplomatic missions in Nepal are invited for the program.

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