Shabaab claims car bomb near par­lia­ment

Two sol­diers killed and five oth­ers in­jured, mil­i­tants say they killed 17, in­jured over 30

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

Two So­mali sol­diers died and five oth­ers were in­jured when a car bomb claimed by mil­i­tant group al Shabaab ex­ploded on Satur­day near the par­lia­ment in the cap­i­tal Mo­gadishu, po­lice said.

Al Shabaab has stepped up its cam­paign of bomb­ings and gun as­saults in Mo­gadishu in re­cent months ahead of par­lia­men­tary elec­tions ex­pected to take place within weeks.

Col Ab­diqadir Hus­sein, a po­lice of­fi­cer, told Reuters the ex­plo­sion oc­curred near the par­lia­ment build­ing, while another po­lice of­fi­cer, Maj Hus­sein Nur, said the car bomb hit a mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle at a junc­tion check­point.

“Two sol­diers died and five oth­ers were in­jured,” Nur said, adding po­lice, mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity forces were on the scene when the at­tack oc­curred.

Al Shabaab, which once ruled much of So­ma­lia, wants to top­ple the Western-backed govern­ment in Mo­gadishu and drive out Amisom peace­keep­ers made up of sol­diers from Kenya, Dji­bouti, Uganda, Ethiopia and other African na­tions

The group’s ra­dio sta­tion An­dalus said a sui­cide car bomb had been driven by “a mu­jahid” into Sayidka junc­tion, “where a con­voy of the apos­tate govern­ment se­cu­rity forces were pass­ing”.

Sheikh Ab­di­a­sis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions spokesman, told Reuters the group killed 17 sol­diers and in­jured more than 30 oth­ers in the at­tack.

The group usu­ally gives far lower num­bers of ca­su­al­ties on its side and much higher death tolls for the se­cu­rity forces.

Wit­nesses said se­cu­rity forces sealed off the area and nearby roads were blocked fol­low­ing the bomb­ing.

Much of So­ma­lia has been in a state of law­less­ness and chaos since the early 1990s fol­low­ing the top­pling of mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor Mo­hamed Siad Barre.

A cen­tral govern­ment backed by the west and Amisom has tried to re­store or­der and re­build but it has strug­gled un­der re­lent­less at­tacks by al Shabaab.

/REUTERS

A So­mali po­lice­man in­spects the scene of a sui­cide car ex­plo­sion near par­lia­ment in the cap­i­tal Mo­gadishu on Satur­day

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