Car bomb kills eight in Somali capital

Updated June 16, 2019

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Mogadishu: A man walks past the wreckage of an official vehicle that was destroyed in a bomb attack on Saturday. —AP
Mogadishu: A man walks past the wreckage of an official vehicle that was destroyed in a bomb attack on Saturday. —AP

MOGADISHU/NAIROBI: A car bomb exploded near the Somali parliament on Saturday, killing eight people, emergency workers said, hours after militia executed nine civilians from a clan with suspected links to the Al Shabaab.

“We have confirmed eight people killed and 16 others wounded in the blast,” the private Aamin Ambulance service said.

A second blast on a key road leading to the airport of the Somali capital Mogadishu did not cause any casualties.

The Al Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attacks saying “they were targeting two checkpoints, one of them along the airport road and (the other) along the road that leads to house of legislators.”According to security sources the second explosives-laden car a Toyota Noah, was spotted by security forces at a checkpoint. They opened fire and killed a man in the car, which then exploded. No one was injured in the blast.

Bomb kills Kenyan policemen near Somali border

A roadside bomb hit a police vehicle patrolling near Kenya’s border with Somalia on Saturday, killing several of the 11 officers inside, a police spokesman said.Kenyan military forces have occupied part of southern Somalia along the border since 2011. The Kenyans, along with allied Somali militia, wrested control of the territory from Al Shabaab jihadists after a spate of kidnappings on Kenyan soil.

Al Shabaab is fighting the weak, UN-backed Somali government and its international allies in a quest to impose strict Islamic law.

Exact casualty figures from Saturday’s patrol attack were still unclear, police spokesman Charles Owino said.

Nine killed in revenge attack

Earlier on Saturday, police said local militia executed nine civilians in retribution for Al Shabaab killing a policeman.

The revenge attack on Friday just outside Galkayo — one of the most developed cities in the centre of the country — targeted the Rahanweyn clan, several of whose members are suspected of being Shabaab fighters.

“This was a horrible incident, a gruesome killing against nine unarmed innocent civilians in southern Galkayo,” Mohamed Abdirahman, a local police official said.

“All of the civilians belong to one clan and the gunmen shot them dead in one location a few minutes after suspected Shabaab gunmen killed,” he added.

“Their killing cannot be justified. It seems that the merciless gunmen were retaliating for the security official, who they believe was killed by Al Shabaab gunmen belonging to the clan of the victims.”

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2019