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

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

 
 

Fire white civil servants in W Cape - Cosatu

If the ANC wins the Western Cape in the 7 May general election, Cosatu will ask it to fire more than half the white senior civil servants.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Epping - 12:37 PM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bofors Circle - expect DELAYS
  • Thursday Newlands - 12:22 PM
    Road name: M3 Northbound
    DELAYS on Wynberg Hill
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop 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

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...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.