A huge blast rocked a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday, followed by heavy machinegun fire, said an AFP photographer at the scene. "There is heavy fire going on inside the hotel, it started after the massive explosion but we cannot know what is going on," Abdihafid Mudey, who lives near the hotel, told AFP. A loud explosion was heard at around 16:30 pm (1330 GMT), according to AFP reporters in Mogadishu.
Just days after voting to leave the European Union, more than 1.5 million Britons and UK residents had signed a petition calling for a second vote, forcing MPs to at least consider a debate on the issue. The petition on the British parliament website was posted before the June 23 referendum, saying the government should hold another plebiscite on EU membership if the support for Leave or Remain in a referendum is less than 60 percent based on a turnout of under 75 percent of electors. Since then, the petition -- which only British citizens or UK residents have the right to sign -- was proving so popular that by 1417 GMT on Saturday, 1,580,220 people had signed it with the number rising quickly.