20 killed in explosion in Somalia

A medical official says 20 people have been killed in an explosion in a western Somali town. Dr. Abdirahin Omar Amin of Belet Weyne Hospital says some people died immediately and others died when they got to the hospital. He says most of the dead have been burnt beyond recognition. Ahmed Ato, an administrator at the hospital, says witnesses have told him the explosion was caused by a suicide bombing. Ato says the explosion occurred outside the town's Medina Hotel. The hotel is frequented by Somali government officials. Belet Weyne is the capital of the central Somalia region of Hiran. It is close to the border with Ethiopia. Somalia has not had an effective government for 18 years after warlords overthrew a longtime dictator and plunged the country into anarchy and chaos.