The death toll from two bomb attacks, one of which tore through a busy junction outside the Safari Hotel in the heart of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, has risen to 276.

It is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. The country’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo declared three days of national mourning and ordered flags flown at half-mast.

Police said a truck bomb exploded outside the Safari Hotel at the K5 intersection, which is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks, flattening buildings and setting vehicles on fire. A separate blast struck the Medina district two hours later.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although the Islamist al Shabaab group has carried out regular attacks.

The al Qaeda-allied group is waging an insurgency to topple the weak U.N.-backed government and its African Union allies and impose its own strict interpretation of Islam.

They frequently launch gun, grenade and bomb attacks in Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government, though in recent years the militants have lost most territory under their control to African Union peacekeepers and government troops.

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Hundreds of Somalians in the capital Mogadishu trooped to the Banadir Stadium on Friday evening to witness the country’s first football match under floodlight in three decades.

Since the start of the civil war, no football match has ever been played at night and the oldest stadium in the country – the Banadir Stadium – built in 1956 had been severely damaged.

FIFA came to the rescue of the sport when it funded the redevelopment of the stadium in 2009 through its Win in Africa with Africa programme.

The Banadir Stadium which has not seen renovation since the 1980s hosted for the first time the finals of a district level youth football competition on Friday night which saw about 400 young footballers compete.

The 3rd edition of the championship was won by Waaberi District football team which beat Hodan District by 3 – 1.

The stadium was full to capacity and present were members of the Somali Football Federation sports minister Khadjia Mohamed Diriye.

Somali Football Federation president, Abdiqani Said Arab, said the renovation has turned the country around and will go a long way to develop the sport, local media report.

The minister said football is the main priority of the government and they will use it “as a tool of peace building and stability”.

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A policewoman attached to Makinde Police Division, Oshodi area of Lagos, was on Tuesday beaten into a coma by a female soldier during a fight.

The fight occurred while the policewoman was controlling traffic around the NAFDAC office area in Oshodi. The events leading to the fight however remain unclear.

Eyewitnesses however claimed there was an argument between the two female officers, who were both in their uniforms, which later resulted into a physical fight.

A colleague of the policewoman now in coma identified her as a traffic warden who was carrying out her official duty at the time of the incident.

The police source said the policewoman was still in coma at an undisclosed hospital.

“The case of assault has been reported to Police Command Headquarters for further investigation,” she added.

The Vanguard also claims that its reporter who was at the scene was manhandled by soldiers when he tried to talk to the duelling officers and take pictures of the incident.

The reporter was said to have dashed across the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway but was pursued by the soldiers who continued to hit him until a courageous motorcyclist came to his rescue and sped off with him to safety.

Clashes between operatives of different security agencies are not uncommon in Nigeria just as uniformed men also continue to assault journalists and other civilians at will.

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