Twelve killed in Somalia attack

2014-09-08 18:21
Al-Shabaab fighters march with their weapons during military exercises in Somalia. (Mohamed Sheikh Nor, AP/File)

Al-Shabaab fighters march with their weapons during military exercises in Somalia. (Mohamed Sheikh Nor, AP/File)

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

Mogadishu - At least 12 civilians were killed on Monday in a suicide attack targeting African Union troops in Somalia's Lower Shabelle region, the first serious assault by suspected Islamic extremists after the killing of al-Shabaab's top leader in a US airstrike last week, the police and a regional official said.

The attack happened near the Elasha Biyaha settlement, said Abdiqadir Mohamed Nor, the governor of Lower Shabelle.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car next to a convoy of African Union forces moving near two minibuses, said Somali police official Hassan Ali. Then, amid the confusion, another bomb went off when a second suicide attacker rammed his car into a convoy escorting Abdifatah Shaweye, the Mogadishu intelligence commander, who was in the area to inspect the scene of the first blast.

Shaweye suffered "slight wounds" and was rushed to a Mogadishu hospital. There were no fatalities from the second blast, Ali said.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in a radio broadcast.

Somalia's government warned over the weekend that there is a probability of attacks following the killing of Ahmed Abdi Godane, who was confirmed dead by the US on Friday following a Monday airstrike.

Possible targets include medical and educational institutions, said General Khalif Ahmed Ereg, Somalia's national security minister, in a televised speech on Friday.

Mortar shells struck a Mogadishu neighbourhood on Sunday, the day after al-Shabaab named a new leader and vowed to avenge the death of Godane.

Al-Shabaab said in a statement over the weekend that it remains aligned with al-Qaeda, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors statements by Islamic militant groups.

"Avenging the death of our scholars and leaders is a binding obligation on our shoulders that we will never relinquish nor forget no matter how long it takes," said the al-Shabaab statement, according to SITE.

Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr

Godane, who was also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, was al-Shabaab's spiritual leader, and the US had offered a reward of up to $7m for information leading to his arrest.

Godane had publicly claimed al-Shabaab was responsible for an attack on a mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, in which 67 people were killed a year ago. Kenya later became part of the African Union force that is bolstering Somalia's weak, UN-backed government against al-Shabaab's insurgency.

Backed by African Union forces, Somali government troops recently launched a military offensive aimed at ousting al-Shabaab militants from their last strongholds in southern Somalia, including the coastal city of Barawe, where military officials say al-Shabaab plots attacks across Somalia.

Scores of people have been killed this year, including lawmakers who are being targeted for assassination.

Ugandan Brigadier Dick Olum, a commander of African Union troops fighting al-Shabaab, said the death of Godane left them motivated to escalate the fight against the militants.

"It means that now they are off balance," he said, referring to Islamic extremist militants. "It's time to put them on pressure, to escalate. We have to go and take over Barawe before the militants sit down and make a plan."

The US State Department declared al-Shabaab a terrorist organisation in February 2008.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  somalia  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
8 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.