Shabaab claims Mogadishu bomb attack

2011-10-04 13:04

Mogadishu – Al-Qaeda-inspired Shabaab insurgents have claimed suicide attacks that lest at least 65 people dead in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

A car bomb ripped through a government compound in Mogadishu on Tuesday, killing about 65 people in one of Somalia's deadliest ever suicide attacks, officials and witnesses said.

The attack came as the rebels launched attacks in the country's west and south.

A Shabaab official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said one of the insurgent group's fighters had carried out the attack.

"One of our Mujahidin made the sacrifice to kill TFG [Transitional Federal Government] officials, the African Union troops and other informers who were in the compound," said the Shabaab official.

Mohamud Abdullahi, a taxi driver, said a car had driven into the compound and exploded. He had spoken of an initial toll of 10 dead and more than 20 wounded.

AU and government troops deployed heavily to the area and cordoned it off.

The explosion is thought to have gone off as students were queuing for scholarships offered by Turkey, which recently stepped up its involvement in Somalia and pledged to re-open an embassy in Mogadishu.

If the death toll is confirmed, Tuesday's attack is the deadliest carried out by the Shabaab insurgents since multiple bombings in the Ugandan capital Kampala killed at least 76 people in July 2010.

In a surprise move the Shabaab abandoned their positions in Mogadishu in early August, after years of attempting and failing to break the AU's defences and take over the capital.

Surprise offensive

They had vowed however that it was a tactical move and that their struggle against the Western-backed Somali government would continue.

AU and pro-government forces had re-asserted their authority over most of the capital and the Shabaab’s withdrawal had led to a relative lull in violence.

The Shabaab rekindled their insurgency on several fronts almost simultaneously, with clashes also reported in western and southern regions.

They launched an attack late Monday in the city of Dhusamareb, which lies in western Somalia near the border with Ethiopia and is the main stronghold of Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa, a Sufi militia allied to the government.

"The Shabaab made a surprise offensive late on  Monday and remained in Dhusamareb for hours before they withdrew," local resident Abdullahi Yasiin said, describing the Shabaab’s first attack in the area in months.

According to other witnesses, the Shabaab withdrew from the city after brief exchanges of fire.

The UN refuge agency also reported violence in Dhobley, a town on Somalia's southern border with Kenya.

"The renewed clashes are between opposing armed groups and are further exacerbating the already severe humanitarian situation," said Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"We have received initial, unconfirmed reports of deaths and scores of injured people," he said, without specifying which armed groups were involved in the fighting.

Somalia has been without a central government since the regime of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre collapsed in 1991 and has been plagued by almost uninterrupted violence ever since.

  • willieman - 2011-10-04 13:08

    What is AU doing about this thugs.Is Au still deciding about the so-called african problem african solution

  • RobertKay - 2011-10-04 13:23

    Keep it up guys - at this rate there won't be many of you left and the world migh return to some sort of normality!

  • soulsurfer - 2011-10-04 13:23

    They are waiting for Zooma, who is trying to get his mind around it...

      Paul - 2011-10-04 13:29

      Zooma is processing it

  • Paul - 2011-10-04 13:28

    AU will do nothing they are useless. And again innocent people killed on this continent for nothing.

  • Dmitri - 2011-10-04 13:28

    The religion of peace I see.

  • vgb - 2011-10-04 13:30


  • PROSA - 2011-10-04 13:35

    aiai they hate the west maybe all of us must convert to muslims but watch this space-kfc blown to peaces in south africa well i'm not a chicken person anyway

      antwan - 2011-10-04 14:25

      The problem with conversion to Islam is that when you think better of it and decide to leave Your fellow peaceable devotees are supposed to kill you By order of Allah, as per interpretation by Mohamed, in the Holy Qua-ran. Yikes, better be sure what you want!

  • Tolerant - 2011-10-04 13:59

    Where is Nato when you need them, they can also take out the pirates.

      Mike or Mpho - 2011-10-04 14:24

      Why can't AU deal with its own problems? Don't worry, the question was intended to be rhetorical, we all know that the AU is the most useless organisation out there, together with the incompetent ANC. One day, Africans will wake up from this nightmare, I just hope that its not going to be too late to fight back.

  • Cire - 2011-10-04 14:05

    Someone should tell Shabaab that, according to a large number of South Africans who post comments on News24, there is no such thing as Al-Qaeda. Apparantly its all a ploy by the nasty Americans. I'm sure they will be very surprised and forever grateful to the clever South Africans for pointing out the error of their ways! (Poor buggers obviously don't have access to those other repositories of wisdom - YouTube and Michael Moore.

      slg - 2011-10-04 22:38

      Ridiculously delusional, isn't it. Dangerously so too.

  • pistolpete - 2011-10-04 14:07

    The cult strikes again. Send in the drones

  • kleinkoppi - 2011-10-04 14:18

    Hope there was a few pirates that got blown up as well....

  • woodifer - 2011-10-04 14:21

    the U.N?WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. in a year or 2 this will be south africa.

  • Marcus - 2011-10-04 14:25

    Dead Island Product key, know where I can find one?

  • beicime - 2011-10-04 14:38

    Fortunately with exeption of some 50,000 every other muslim don't take literally the "demand" to kill infidels and they are my friends.

      BABaracus - 2011-10-04 14:49

      With over 1 billion muslims in the world, even if just 1% is extreme, that is 10 million. Even 0.1% is 1 million....

      antwan - 2011-10-04 16:51

      I would be very interested how you arrive at the (suspect) figure of only 50 K At any rate, for evil to prevail, all it takes is all other Muslims to be silent. And then, I strongly suspect that this silence is tacit condoning of the murder of innocents -simply let others do the dirty work. After all if they need not take the prophet Mohamed at his literal word, what value his word in the first place?

  • closedeye - 2011-10-04 14:39

    What a bunch of cowards

  • capetownphotographer - 2011-10-04 14:55

    hopefully by the time I refresh the page there's been more intellectual input

      antwan - 2011-10-04 16:42

      You reckon that your own post will be the first "intellectual input", I gather. (Nit)

  • InternetMan - 2011-10-04 14:59

    Religion of peace strikes again.

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