Shabaab claims twin blasts in Somalia

2013-09-07 17:00
Al-Shabaab. (AFP)

Al-Shabaab. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mogadishu - At least 18 people were killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday when two blasts ripped through a busy parking lot next to a restaurant, police said, in attacks quickly claimed by al-Shabaab Islamists.

"There were two heavy explosions at a parking lot near the National Theatre," police officer Mohamed Adan told AFP.

"At least 18 people were killed in the attack," said Mohamed Dahir, another police officer. An AFP reporter saw 12 bodies at the scene of the attack.

"Successful operations carried out in Hamarweyne," al-Shabaab said on their Somali-language Twitter feed, referring to the Mogadishu district where the attacks occurred. The group's English-language account has been suspended.

The al-Qaeda-linked Islamists claimed to have killed "key officials", but witnesses said the casualties they had seen looked like ordinary civilians.

Police and witnesses said the first blast was a car laden with explosives that was parked by the Village, a restaurant close to the theatre that was targeted by suicide bombers in September 2012.

'I saw flesh flying'

"Minutes after the bomb went off, I saw severed flesh flying past," said Idris Yusuf, who was in the restaurant at the time of the attack and who sustained slight leg injuries.

Nearby buildings were destroyed, the witness said, and passers-by came running over to help the victims.

The second blast, which followed minutes later, was a "suicide bomber who blew himself up in the crowd of civilians who rushed to the scene of the first blast", Ahmed Weli Said, a Somali government security official said.

The National Theatre re-opened in 2012 after two decades. Just weeks later, Shabaab insurgents struck, with a suicide bomber blowing herself up and killing two of the country's top sporting officials who were attending an event there.

Somalia's embattled government, selected in November in a UN-backed process, was hailed at the time by the international community as offering the best chance for peace in Somalia since the collapse of the central government in 1991.

A 17 700-strong African Union force fighting alongside the national army has forced al-Shabaab fighters from several towns in the past two years.

Al-Shabaab fighters, who have claimed responsibility for a string of recent attacks aimed at overthrowing the government, remain a potent force, however.

Their most brazen recent attack was a suicide commando assault on a fortified UN compound in the centre of Mogadishu in June that killed 11.

Attacks commonplace

The UN compound attack used similar tactics to those employed in April, when a nine-man suicide commando unit blasted its way into Mogadishu's main court complex, killing 34 people.

On July 12, just a couple of days into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, insurgents killed at least five people in multiple attacks in the capital. A suicide bomber rammed an African Union convoy and a grenade was thrown into a hotel.

Al-Shabaab fighters claimed members of their suicide brigade carried out the attack, calling it "a martyrdom operation targeting a convoy of crusaders".

Attacks involving roadside bombs or improvised explosive devices that kill one or two people have become so commonplace in Mogadishu that they barely make the headlines any more.

Al-Shabaab have retained strongholds in parts of rural southern and central Somalia, while another faction has dug into remote and rugged mountains in the northern, semi-autonomous Puntland region.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  somalia  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.