Five Killed in Car Bombing in Central Somalia


Published By: Saurabh Verma

Last Updated: September 28, 2023, 23:42 IST

The Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists have waged an insurgency against the country's central government for over 15 years.
(Representative Image)

The Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists have waged an insurgency against the country’s central government for over 15 years.
(Representative Image)

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which comes a week after Somalia’s government admitted to “several significant setbacks” in its fight against Al-Shabaab militants

Five civilians were killed and 13 others wounded in a car bombing near a market in central Somalia on Thursday, police said, the latest attack to hit the fragile Horn of Africa nation.

A car rigged with explosives detonated near a busy market in the district of Buloburde in Hiran region, sending shoppers fleeing the scene, police and witnesses said.

“They killed five civilians and wounded 13 others in Buloburde after detonating a car loaded with explosives in the market area,” local police officer Abdullahi Hassan told AFP by phone.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which comes a week after Somalia’s government admitted to “several significant setbacks” in its fight against Al-Shabaab militants.

The Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists have waged an insurgency against the country’s central government for over 15 years.

“I saw the dead bodies of five civilians, including a woman, and more than ten others wounded,” Yusuf Moalim Dahir, a resident of Buloburde, told AFP by phone.

“Business was interrupted because of the destruction caused by the explosion,” he said, adding that security forces had cordoned off the area.

The blast occurred days after a truck bombing on Saturday in the central town of Beledweyne killed 21 people, razing buildings and injuring dozens.

Al-Shabaab were driven from Mogadishu by an African Union force in 2011 but still control swathes of the countryside.

Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May last year vowing “all-out war” against the militants.

His government launched a major offensive against the Islamists in August last year, joining forces with local clan militias in an operation backed by AU troops and US air strikes.

On Thursday, Somali security forces foiled two car bomb attacks targeting Dhusamareeb town in central Somalia where Mohamud has been based in recent weeks.

“The two cars were stopped by the security forces outside Dhusomareeb, one soldier was killed and two others wounded,” Mohamed Yare, a local police officer, told AFP by phone.

UN resolutions call for the African Union Transition in Somalia (ATMIS) force to be reduced to zero by the end of next year, handing over security to the Somali army and police.

But this goal has proved challenging, with the government now seeking to delay the planned reduction of ATMIS troops, according to a letter to the United Nations seen by AFP.

In the letter, Somalia’s national security adviser said the government had “managed to re-liberate towns, villages and critical supply routes” during its offensive but had suffered “several significant setbacks” since late August.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)



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