3 December 1984

Bhopal disaster: A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, kills more than 3,800 people outright and injures 150,000–600,000 others (some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries) in one of the worst industrial disasters in history.

3 December 2009

A suicide bombing at a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, kills 25 people, including three ministers of the Transitional Federal Government.

2009 Hotel Shamo bombing
Location of Somalia in Africa
LocationMogadishu, Somalia
Date3 December 2009
Attack type
Suicide bombing

The 2009 Hotel Shamo bombing was a suicide bombing at the Hotel Shamo in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 3 December 2009. The bombing killed 25 people, including three ministers of the Transitional Federal Government,[1] and injured 60 more,[2] making it the deadliest attack in Somalia since the Beledweyne bombing on 18 June 2009 that claimed more than 30 lives.[3]

The bombing

The hall had been brightly decorated, and there was a feeling of excitement – such ceremonies rarely happen in Mogadishu.[4]

Mohammed Olad Hassan, BBC News

Location of Mogadishu in Somalia
Location of Mogadishu in Somalia
Mogadishu in Somalia

The attack took place inside the meeting hall of the Hotel Shamo in Mogadishu during a commencement ceremony for medical students of Benadir University and was carried out by a suicide bomber dressed as a woman, "complete with a veil and a female's shoes", according to Minister of Information Dahir Mohamud Gelle.[5] According to witnesses, the bomber approached a speakers' panel, verbally greeted them with the phrase "peace", and detonated his explosives belt.[6] Former Minister of Health Osman Dufle, who was speaking when the blast happened, reported that he had noticed an individual wearing black clothing moving through the audience immediately before the explosion.[7]

The ceremony—the second since Benadir University was formed in 2002 and a rare event in war-torn Somalia—had attracted hundreds of people.[5] In attendance were the graduates and their family members, University officials,[8] and five ministers of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).[5] Security inside the meeting hall was light and all of the ministers' bodyguards were outside the hall.[5]


Suddenly, the hall shook and I heard a PAW! sound from the front of the ceremony, where most government officials and dignitaries were sitting. I got down on the ground and looked back. Dozens of people were on the ground under a huge cloud of smoke. Others were stampeding to the exit for safety.[9]

Abdinasir Mohamed, The Wall Street Journal

The bombing killed 24 people[1] and injured 60 others.[2] Most of those killed were students,[2] but also among the dead were two doctors, three journalists,[10] and three government ministers—Minister of Education Ahmed Abdulahi Waayeel, Minister of Health Qamar Aden Ali, and Minister of Higher Education Ibrahim Hassan Addow were killed.[5][7] Minister of Sports Saleban Olad Roble was critically injured, and was hospitalised. He was later reported to have been flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment,[11] where he died on 13 February 2010.[12]

The three journalists killed in the bombing were: Mohamed Amiin Abdullah of Shabelle Media Network, a Somali television and radio network;[7][10] freelance photographer Yasir Mairo, who died of injuries in hospital;[10] and a cameraman alternately identified as freelancer Hassan Ahmed Hagi[7] and Al Arabiya cameraman Hassan Zubeyr[10] or Hasan al-Zubair.[8] Their deaths raised to nine the number of journalists killed in Somalia during 2009, including four for Radio Shabelle.[10] The explosion also injured six other journalists, including two—Omar Faruk, a photographer for Reuters, and Universal TV reporter Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle—who were taken to Medina Hospital in critical condition.[10]

The dean of Benadir University's medical college was among the wounded.[8]


President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed accused the Islamist group al-Shabaab of perpetrating the attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for orchestrating the bombing,[5] but Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the President of Somalia, blamed the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab.[7]

In a news conference held in the Hotel Shamo after the attack, President Ahmed called for international assistance to Somalia.[6] He also displayed, according to a local journalist, what he identified as the bomber's body and remains of an explosive belt and a hijab.[7] The Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende reported the bomber was a 23-year-old citizen of Denmark.[13]

According to Idd Mohamed, a senior Somali diplomat, the attack was carried out to foster "terror" and "panic" and undermine the legitimacy of the Transitional Federal Government.[6] Wafula Wamunyini, the acting head of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), expressed a similar opinion, claiming that the attack had the purpose of "intimidat[ing] and blackmail[ing]" the Somali government.[2] Stephanie McCrummen of The Washington Post described the attack as "the worst blow in months" to the United Nations-supported government of Somalia.[6]


The attack drew condemnation from a number of organisations, including the African Union (AU), the European Union, the United Nations Security Council, and the National Union of Somali Journalists.[5][7]

AMISOM described the bombing as "inhumane and cowardly",[5] and characterised it as a "heinous [crime] against humanity".[7] AMISOM also promised to "spare no efforts" to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack,[7] and stated that the attack would not deter the AU from continuing to carry out its mission in Somalia.[2]

Baroness Catherine Ashton, the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy for the European Union (EU), echoed AMISOM's sentiment, calling the bombing a "cowardly attack against civilians including students, doctors and journalists".[5]

The UN Security Council president Michel Kafando labelled the attack an act of terrorism[7] and a "criminal act",[6] called for a "thorough investigation", and conveyed "sympathies and condolences" to the victims of the attack, their families, the TFG, and the Somali people.[7]

A joint statement by the UN, the EU, the Arab League and the United States affirmed that the international community would continue its support of the Transitional Federal Government;[5] however, a senior European diplomat indicated that any additional military support to the TFG was unlikely.[6]

President Ahmed characterised the attack as a "national disaster".[2]

The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement expressing condolences to the families of the three journalists killed in the bombing and noted that the attack "cemented" Somalia's "position as the deadliest country in Africa for journalists".[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b "4th minister dies of wounds". The Straits Times. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Somalia al-Shabab Islamists deny causing deadly bomb". BBC News. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  3. ^ Guled, Abdi; Ibrahim Mohamed (4 December 2009). "Bomber kills 19 in Somalia". National Post. Retrieved 4 December 2009.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Hassan, Mohammed Olad (3 December 2009). "Somalia bomb attack: 'Light turned to dark'". BBC News. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Somalia ministers killed by hotel suicide bomb". BBC News. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d e f McCrummen, Stephanie (4 December 2009). "Bombing kills 19 in Somali capital". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Blast kills 19 at graduation ceremony in Somalia". CNN. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  8. ^ a b c "Govt ministers killed in Somalia blast". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  9. ^ Mohamed, Abdinasir (4 December 2009). "I Looked to My Right and Saw a Colleague Dead and Bleeding". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Explosion kills three Somali journalists in Mogadishu". Committee to Protect Journalists. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  11. ^ Somalia: Patients flown to Saudi Arabia
  12. ^ http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE61C02G.htm
  13. ^ Somalia suicide bomber from Denmark Archived 12 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine The Copenhagen Post.

External links

Coordinates: 2°01′51″N 45°18′14″E / 2.0309°N 45.3039°E / 2.0309; 45.3039

3 December 1979

Ruhollah Khomeini becomes the first Supreme Leader of Iran.

Sayyid Ruhollah M?savi Khomeini 24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989, known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and marja. He was the founder of the Islamic republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country’s Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.

Khomeini was born in 1902 in Khomeyn, in what is now Iran’s Markazi Province. His father was murdered in 1903 when Khomeini was six months old. He began studying the Quran and the Persian language from a young age and was assisted in his religious studies by his relatives, including his mother’s cousin and older brother.

Khomeini was a marja in Twelver Shia Islam, a Mujtahid or faqih and author of more than 40 books, but he is primarily known for his political activities. He spent more than 15 years in exile for his opposition to the last Shah. In his writings and preachings he expanded the theory of welayat-el faqih, the “Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist”, to include theocratic political rule by Islamic jurists. This principle was appended to the new Iranian constitution after being put to a referendum. According to The New York Times, Khomeini called democracy the equivalent of prostitution. Whether Khomeini’s ideas are compatible with democracy and whether he intended the Islamic Republic to be democratic is disputed. He was Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1979 for his international influence, and Khomeini has been described as the “virtual face of Shia Islam in Western popular culture”. In 1982, he survived one military coup attempt. Khomeini was known for his support of the hostage takers during the Iran hostage crisis, his fatwa calling for the murder of British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, and for referring to the United States as the “Great Satan” and Soviet Union as the “Lesser Satan.” Khomeini has been criticized for these acts and for human rights violations of Iranians.

He has also been lauded as a “charismatic leader of immense popularity”, a “champion of Islamic revival” by Shia scholars, who attempted to establish good relations between Sunnis and Shias, and a major innovator in political theory and religious-oriented populist political strategy. Khomeini held the title of Grand Ayatollah and is officially known as Imam Khomeini inside Iran and by his supporters internationally. He is generally referred to as Ayatollah Khomeini by others. In Iran, his gold-domed tomb in Tehr?n’s Behesht-e Zahr?? cemetery has become a shrine for his adherents, and he is legally considered “inviolable”, with Iranians regularly punished for insulting him.

In March 1979, shortly after Ruhollah Khomeini’s return from exile and the overthrow of Iran’s monarchy, a national referendum was held throughout Iran with the question “Islamic Republic, yes or no?”. Although some groups objected to the wording and choice and boycotted the referendum, 98% of those voting voted “yes”. Following this landslide victory, the constitution of Iran of 1906 was declared invalid and a new constitution for an Islamic state was created and ratified by referendum during the first week of December in 1979. According to Francis Fukuyama, the 1979 constitution is a “hybrid” of “theocratic and democratic elements” with much of it based on the ideas Khomeini presented in his work Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist. In the work, Khomeini argued that government must be run in accordance with traditional Islamic sharia, and for this to happen a leading Islamic jurist must provide political “guardianship” over the people. The leading jurist were known as Marja’.

The Constitution stresses the importance of the clergy in government, with Article 4 stating that

“all civil, criminal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and all other statutes and regulations be keeping with Islamic measures;…the Islamic legal scholars of the watch council will keep watch over this.”

and the importance of the Supreme Leader. Article 5 states

“during the absence of the removed Twelfth Imam government and leadership of the community in the Islamic Republic of Iran belong to the rightful God fearing… legal scholar who is recognized and acknowledged as the Islamic leader by the majority of the population.”

Article 107 in the constitution mentions Imam Khomeini by name and praises him as the most learned and talented leader for emulation. The responsibilities of the Supreme Leader are vaguely stated in the constitution, thus any ‘violation’ by the Supreme Leader would be dismissed almost immediately. As the rest of the clergy governed affairs on a daily basis, the Supreme Leader is capable of mandating a new decision as per the concept of Vilayat-e Faqih.

3 December 1994

The PlayStation was first released in Japan.


On December 3, 1994, the PlayStation was finally released in Japan, one week after the Sega Saturn. The initial retail cost was 37,000 yen, or about $387. Software available at launch included King’s Field, Crime Crackers, and Namco’s Ridge Racer, the PlayStation’s first certifiable killer app. It was met with long lines across Japan, and was hailed by Sony as their most important product since the WalkMan in the late 1970’s.

Also available at launch were a host of peripherals, including: a memory card to save high scores and games; a link cable, whereby you could connect two PlayStations and two TVs and play against a friend; a mouse with pad for PC ports; an RFU Adaptor; an S-Video Adaptor; and a Multitap Unit. Third party peripherals were also available, including Namco’s Negcon.

The look of the PlayStation was dramatically different than the Saturn, which was beige (in Japan), bulky, and somewhat clumsy looking. In contrast, the PlayStation was slim, sleek, and gray, with a revolutionary controller that was years ahead of the Saturn’s SNES-like pad. The new PSX joypad provided unheardof control by adding two more buttons on the shoulder, making a total of eight buttons. The two extended grips also added a new element of control. Ken Kutaragi realized the importance of control when dealing with 3 Dimensional game worlds. “We probably spent as much time on the joypad’s development as the body of the machine. Sony’s boss showed special interest in achieving the final version so it has his seal of approval.” To Sony’s delight, the PlayStation sold more than 300,000 units in the first 30 days. The Saturn claimed to have sold 400,000, but research has shown that number to be misleading. The PSX sold through (to customers) 97% of its stock, while many Saturns were still sitting on the shelves. These misleading numbers were to be quoted by Sega on many occasions, and continued even after the US launch.

3 December 1368

Charles VI of France is born


Charles VI, by name Charles the Well-beloved or the Mad, French Charles le Bien-aimé or L’insensé was born on December 3, 1368. He was the king of France who throughout his long reign (1380–1422) remained largely a figurehead, first because he was still a boy when he took the throne and later because of his periodic fits of madness.

Crowned on October 25, 1380, at Reims at the age of 11, Charles remained under the tutelage of his uncles until his declaration to rule alone in 1388. During those early years France was ruled by his uncles and their creation, the administrative Council of 12. Philip the Bold of Burgundy conducted the council from 1382. The marriage of Isabella of Bavaria to Charles was arranged by Philip, who had inherited the countship of Flanders and needed German allies to offset English intervention there. Philip also induced Charles to support Jeanne of Brabant, the aunt of Philip’s wife, and to lead an expedition in August 1388 against Duke William of Gelderland; Charles, however, made a speedy peace with William and returned to France.

After Charles VI’s death in 1422, the country north of the Loire was under the control of England, while southern France, excluding English Aquitaine, was loyal to the dauphin as Charles VII.