Car bomb hits Mo­gadishu mar­ket

At least 8 killed, but death toll ex­pected to rise

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

A car bomb ex­ploded near a busy mar­ket in So­ma­lia’s cap­i­tal Mo­gadishu yes­ter­day, killing at least eight peo­ple, po­lice said, as med­i­cal sources warned the toll could be far higher. “We have counted about eight civil­ians so far who were killed in the blast and more than 10 oth­ers wounded but the death toll could be higher be­cause the area is a mar­ket and it was so densely pop­u­lated when the blast oc­curred, most peo­ple who were wounded have se­ri­ous in­juries,” said po­lice of­fi­cial Ibrahim Mohamed.

Med­i­cal sources sug­gested nearly 30 peo­ple had been killed, but this was not con­firmed by au­thor­i­ties. “Our am­bu­lances have col­lected 13 wounded civil­ians and 28 dead bod­ies, the toll could be higher be­cause of the den­sity of the lo­ca­tion where the blast oc­curred,” Dr Ab­dulka­dir Ab­di­rah­man Adem, di­rec­tor of the AMIN am­bu­lance ser­vice, told AFP. The blast took place in the densely pop­u­lated Afisiy­one area in south­ern Mo­gadishu.

“There was chaos and sev­ered dead bod­ies strewn around the street, the mar­ket was so busy with peo­ple shop­ping when the blast ripped through the area. I saw many dead bod­ies but I could not count, I have helped col­lect more than 10 of them,” said Ab­du­lahi Os­man, who wit­nessed the blast.

‘Both Dead and In­jured’

Another wit­ness, Is­mail Mo­hamud told AFP: “I can’t count all, but, I can tell that I have col­lected about 20 dead peo­ple with my hands, also, there have been other peo­ple col­lect­ing with me both dead and in­jured per­sons.” No group has yet claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack, but im­me­di­ate sus­pi­cion fell on the AlQaeda linked Is­lamist Shabaab group, which is locked in battle with the So­mali govern­ment and reg­u­larly mounts at­tacks in the city.

Its most deadly re­cent at­tack was in Au­gust when a car bomb out­side a pop­u­lar ho­tel close to the pres­i­den­tial palace left 15 dead. De­spite be­ing driven out of the cap­i­tal in 2011 by an African Union force de­ployed in 2007, the group still con­trols vast swathes of out­ly­ing ru­ral ar­eas from which it launches guer­rilla op­er­a­tions. So­ma­lia is cur­rently hold­ing a drawn-out, lim­ited elec­tion in which some 14,000 spe­cially se­lected vot­ers are pick­ing 275 mem­bers of par­lia­ment who will later join se­na­tors in elect­ing a pres­i­dent.

The coun­try had been promised a one-per­son, one-vote elec­tion, how­ever po­lit­i­cal in­fight­ing and inse­cu­rity led lead­ers to ditch the plan in fa­vor of the cur­rent process. Af­ter the 1991 fall of strong­man pres­i­dent Mohamed Siad Barre, war­ring clan mili­tia plunged the coun­try into decades of civil war and hu­man­i­tar­ian crises, leav­ing it with­out a cen­tral govern­ment and the la­bel of the world’s fore­most failed state. An even more lim­ited elec­tion in 2012 - when MPs were nom­i­nated by 135 clan el­ders - gave So­ma­lia the first cen­tral govern­ment based in the coun­try since the fall of Barre. —AFP

MO­GADISHU: Se­cu­rity of­fi­cers and mil­i­tary per­son­nel se­cure yes­ter­day the scene of a sui­cide car bomb at­tack in So­ma­lia’s restive cap­i­tal. —AFP

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