A suicide car bomb attack killed at the minimum eight people in the Somalian capital Mogadishu on Saturday. The Islamist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack that took place close to the presidential palace.
“We have confirmed that eight people most of them civilians died and seven others wounded in the car bomb blast”, district police chief Mucawiye Ahmed Mudey told reporters.
The driver of the means detonated the explosives when police stopped him at a checkpoint, witnesses said. The explosion was less than a kilometer away from the Villa Somalia palace.
“They typically stop to check and clear vehicles before they can pass by the checkpoint. This car was stopped by the security guards and it went off while there were several other cars and people passing by the nearby road. I saw wounded and dead people being carried,” observe Mohamed Hassan told news agency AFP.
Al-Shabab has carried out numerous deadly attacks in Somalia and East Africa
Somalia’s fragile political situation
The al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabab terror group ruled Mogadishu until 2011 when African Union troops expelled them from the city.
They have remained in control of territory in the surrounding countryside ever since, from where they have launched frequent attacks against government and civilian targets.
Saturday’s attack came during a moment of tension between the country’s president, Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed Farmaajo, and his chief minister, Mohammed Hussein Roble. The discord has threatened to delay parliamentary elections that had been set for October 10.
Somalia has been in a state of current conflict since the fall of dictator Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991. His departure left the country without a functioning government, leading to a strength vacuum that was filled by warlords and militias such as al-Shabab.
ab/rs (AFP, dpa, Reuters, EFE)
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