MOGADISHU — A suicide car bomb exploded outside a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, on Saturday, killing at least 23 people and injuring more than 30,.
Gunfire continued as security forces pursued the attackers inside the building, police said. Two more blasts were heard, one when an attacker detonated a suicide vest.
A suicide car bomb was rammed into a hotel, Nasahablod Two, about 600 metres from the presidential palace, and then armed militants stormed the building, police said.
Two of the five attackers were killed on the first floor, Captain Mohamed Hussein said. The others hurled grenades and cut off the building’s electricity as night fell.
A few minutes later another car bomb exploded near the former parliament house nearby.
Three of the five attackers were killed, Mr Hussein said. Among the dead were a mother and three children, including a baby, all shot in the head, Mr Hussein said. Other victims included a senior Somali police colonel, a former lawmaker and a former government minister.
Ali Nur, a police officer, said 17 people, mostly policemen, had died in the blasts near hotel’s gate.
Fighting continued to rage inside the hotel and police said the death toll was likely to rise.
Islamist group Al Shabaab, responsible for scores of such attacks in the country’s long civil war, claimed the responsibility and said it carried out Saturday’s bombings.
“We targeted ministers and security officials who were inside the hotel. We are fighting inside,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military operations spokesman, told media.
He said the hotel belonged to Somalia’s internal security minister, Mohamed Abukar Islow.
Al Shabaab is fighting to topple Somalia’s internationally-backed government and impose its strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.
The blasts have come two weeks after more than 350 people were killed in a massive truck bombing on a busy Mogadishu street in the country’s worst-ever attack.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said the new attack was meant to instil fear in Somalis who united after that, marching in the thousands through Mogadishu in defiance of Al Shabaab.
Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults
KATHMANDU — Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But a new study on sleep patterns has suggested that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults too.
Researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a study of 1,978 older adults, have found that people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.
The study was published Sept 21 in the journal Scientific Reports.
“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said study’s lead author Jessica Lunsford-Avery.
“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”
African-Americans had the most irregular sleep patterns compared to participants who were white, Chinese-American or Hispanic, the data showed.
Still, the data suggest tracking sleep regularity could help identify people at risk of disease, and where health disparities may impact specific groups.
Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.Follow @gorkhapost