Al-Shabab at­tacks CID head­quar­ters in Mo­gadishu

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

AL-SHABAB at­tack­ers set off two car bombs out­side a po­lice base in So­ma­lia’s cap­i­tal be­fore gun­men stormed in­side, leav­ing at least 10 peo­ple dead, po­lice said.

The armed group quickly claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the as­sault on the head­quar­ters of So­ma­lia’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment (CID) in Mo­gadishu yes­ter­day.

It was the sec­ond ma­jor op­er­a­tion in the city this week by the fight­ers, who have kept up their guerilla war on the Western-backed gov­ern­ment in the face of US drone strikes and African peace­keep­ing forces.

Heavy gun­fire rang out in­side for about half an hour af­ter the first blast, said wit­nesses.

The bod­ies of four civil­ians lay in the street near the com­pound which was par­tially de­stroyed. A kiosk near the wall caught fire.

“At least 10 peo­ple in­clud­ing four mil­i­tants, five civil­ians and a sol­dier died in to­day’s at­tack,” Hus­sein Ali, a po­lice of­fi­cer, told Reuters. At least 15 peo­ple were wounded, Ali added. Al Shabab’s mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions spokesman, Ab­di­a­sis Abu Musab, said one of its sui­cide bombers had started yes­ter­day’s at­tack by ram­ming a car bomb into the build­ing’s gate.

Wit­ness Mo­hamed Abdi told the DPA news agency: “I saw a ve­hi­cle [driv­ing] into the gates of the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment at a high speed and then a huge blast went off.”

So­ma­lia’s In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter, Ab­d­i­rizak Mo­hamed, tweeted: “Af­ter 2 ex­plo­sions 3 AS at­tack­ers who tried to en­ter the CID were killed, no ca­su­al­ties on our forces, will up­date you on civil­ian ca­su­al­ties”

In al Shabab’s first at­tack this week, 13 peo­ple were killed when two car bombs went off at the gate of the African Union’s main peace­keeper’s base on Tues­day.

Se­cu­rity an­a­lysts had warned that the group could step up its at­tacks, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the dis­trac­tion caused by cam­paign­ing for a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion due in Au­gust.

Al-Shabab, seek­ing to im­pose power, has also launched at­tacks in Kenya and Uganda, which have con­trib­uted troops to the African Union peace­keep­ing force.

“Last week, al-Shabab used a former mem­ber of par­lia­ment as a sui­cide bomber,” said Al Jazeera’s Mo­hammed Adow. “Al-Shabab wants to prove they are not just tar­get­ing and rad­i­cal­is­ing chil­dren, they are also tar­get­ing the so called cream of so­ci­ety.”

He added: “Peo­ple have lost hope in the cur­rent gov­ern­ment [for a lack of se­cu­rity].” — Al Jazeera

Kgalema Mot­lanthe

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