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.
Demand for legalizing same-sex marriage
KATHMANDU- Stakeholders concerned have demanded a law related to same-sex marriage in the context when the Nepal’s constitution and laws have accepted the concept of marital equality.
At an interaction program held with media about the issue of gender identity and sexual orientation by an organization named Yubalaya here Sunday, the demand came as a prompt need of the time by the people concerned.
The complaint of homosexuals was that they were deprived of marriage by choice in the absence of the legalization of same-sex marriage which according to them is the deprivation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.
Blue Diamond Society Program Officer Anuj Peter said though the constitution has promised to make special provisions for protection, empowerment or development of gender and sexual minorities, such vows are yet to be executed in practice.
Peter, who identifies himself as a homosexual, shares that he has been legally denied to marry a man of his choice.
Yubalaya Chair Sabin Singh highlighted the need of support from media and civil society to address the issue of gender identity and sexual minorities regarding same-sex marriage law.
The participants of the program put their queries about marital equality, broader sexual education and safe abortion.
As told by the Society, to date, 30 countries across the world have legalized same-sex marriage and endorsed a law towards that end and the Netherlands was the first country to legalize it in the end of 2000.Follow @gorkhapost