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.
Action should be taken against the corrupt : Prachand
LAHAN — CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that he is committed for not letting commission mongers and corrupt walk freely, stating development of the country is in a mess due to them.
“Development cannot be imagined without good governance. Action should be taken against the corrupt to maintain good governance. The government will take stern step for the same,” Dahal said while laying the foundation stone for upgrading task of East-West Postal Highway at Bariyarpatti of Siraha on Tuesday.
Saying political revolution has now completed, he expressed the view that Nepal would be made a prosperous country of the world within five to ten years with a new revolution of development.
Likewise, Dahal also said that the left alliance had assured people of good governance, stability, development and prosperity through its common manifesto and claimed that the incumbent government, which has garnered around two thirds majority, would fulfill people’s wish and aspiration.
Saying the plan of upgrading of postal highway, which is considered as a lifeline of Madhes, was forwarded during his term as the Prime Minister, he said upgrading of the postal highway would not be obstructed in any pretext.
Similarly, Minister for Physical Planning and Transport, Raghubir Mahaseth, said that all political parties should stand together for the development and prosperity of the country.
He also said that the government would take action against those contractors who failed to complete the construction task on deadline.
Likewise, Chief Minister of province no 2, Lalbabu Raut, expressed determination that the provincial government would present itself strongly to control corruption.Follow @gorkhapost