Don't Miss

Suicide bomb in market in Mogadishu kills at least 34

By on February 20, 2017

At least 34 people have been killed and about 50 injured in a car bomb blast in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The car blew up in the city’s southern Madina district, officials say. The car was driven by a suicide bomber, said Ahmed Abdulle Afrax, the mayor of Wadajir district where the bombing happened.

The blast – which ripped through shops and food stalls – is the first major attack in the capital since the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed earlier this month.

No group has claimed responsibility, although al-Shabab militants are likely to be the prime suspects. The islamist group has been able to carry out increasingly deadly bombings despite losing most of its territory to African Union peacekeepers supporting the Somali government.

On Saturday a senior al-Shabab commander vowed to target the president’s supporters. Sheikh Hassan Yaqub said that anyone who collaborated with the new president – who he described as evil-minded – would be at risk of attack by the Islamist group.

President Mohamed has condemned the bombing, accusing al-Shabab of being behind the attack. He urged Somalis to unite against the group’s brutality.

“It was a horrific and barbaric attack only aimed at killings civilians,” he said.

Eyewitness Abdulle Omar said the market was destroyed. “I was staying in my shop when a car came into the market and exploded. I saw more than 20 people lying on the ground. Most of them were dead and the market was totally destroyed…”

Other witnesses said the bomb went off at a busy junction where soldiers, civilians and traders congregate.

Troops from the African Union forced al-Shabab out of Mogadishu in 2011, but the militants remain powerful in some rural areas.

Last month at least 28 people were killed in a bomb attack by militants at the Dayah hotel in Mogadishu.

Civil war has riven Somalia since 1991. Aid agencies warn that a severe drought has placed large swathes of the country at risk of famine.

About AfricaTimes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.