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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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Government not serious in resolving Nirmala Panta’s case: Gagan Thapa

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BHIMDUTTANAGAR— Nepali Congress youth leader and lawmaker Gagan Kumar Thapa has alleged that the government was not serious about finding the perpetrators of the rape and subsequent murder of Nirmala Panta, a 13-year-old girl from Bhimduttanagar Municipality-2, Kanchanpur.

Leader Thapa was speaking in a meeting with the party workers at the Nepali Congress party district office here this morning. He said people’s trust towards the government was waning due to its nonchalance in providing justice in the Nirmala Panta’s case.

He also accused the government of not working as per the people’s aspiration despite the formation of a stable government after a long wait.

After the meeting with the party workers, Thapa met with Nirmala’s parents who are staging a sit-in in front of the District Administration Office for last two weeks demanding justice.

“Please, take care of your health. I will relay your message to the Prime Minister and the president of the Nepali Congress, the main opposition party in parliament,” he assured Nirmala’s grieving parents.

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