16 dead in So­ma­lia sui­cide bomb­ings

Gulf Times - - AFRICA -

At least 16 peo­ple were killed in So­ma­lia yes­ter­day in sui­cide bomb­ings that tar­geted a restau­rant and cof­fee shop, po­lice said.

Sui­cide bombers walked into the two lo­ca­tions in the south­west­ern city of Baidoa and det­o­nated their vests within min­utes of each other, ac­cord­ing to wit­nesses.

The blasts came a day be­fore the first an­niver­sary of a truck bomb­ing that left more than 500 dead in Mo­gadishu, the worst ever at­tack in So­ma­lia which was blamed on Is­lamist group She­baab.

“The num­ber of the dead we have con­firmed from the two blasts is 16 and nearly twenty oth­ers were wounded some of them se­ri­ously, nine peo­ple died in the sec­ond blast and seven in the first,” said Abudu­lahi Mo­hamed, a po­lice of­fi­cial in Baidoa.

“The tar­geted lo­ca­tions are pop­u­lated by in­no­cent civil­ians so that all of the vic­tims were civil­ians, and the num­ber of the dead can in­crease any­time be­cause of the wounded,” he added.

Mo­hamed Adam, an­other po­lice of­fi­cial, gave the same toll.

“I saw fif­teen dead bod­ies at the hospi­tal all of them col­lected from the scene of the at­tacks, many wor­ried peo­ple poured into the hospi­tal look­ing for their rel­a­tives” Abdi Has­san, a rel­a­tive of a pa­tient who was wounded in the blast.

She­baab, an Al Qaeda af­fil­i­ate, is fighting to over­throw the in­ter­na­tion­ally-backed So­mali gov­ern­ment in Mo­gadishu.

The She­baab were forced out of the cap­i­tal by African Union troops in 2011 but still con­trol parts of the coun­try­side and carry out at­tacks against gov­ern­ment, mil­i­tary and civil­ian tar­gets seem­ingly at will in Mo­gadishu and re­gional towns.

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