19 people have been killed in a explosion in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, according to the latest reports.
A bomb ripped through a hotel that was hosting a graduate ceremony. Hundreds of people and many state officials were there. Three government ministers in health and education and two journalists are among the dead. The western-backed government is only in control of small parts of the country and is fighting Islamist insurgents. They include the hardline group al Shabaab which Washington says is linked to Al Qaeda. Al Shabaab killed Somalia’s security minister and at least 30 other people in June. Violence in the country has killed more than 19,000 people since the start of 2007 and uprooted 1.5 million. The chaos has helped fuel kidnappings as well as piracy off the coast. The government has pleaded with the United Nations to send a more robust peacekeeping force than the 5,000 or so African Union troops.