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Somaliland Blames Recent Suicide Attacks on Al-Shabab


Officials in the breakaway region of Somaliland are blaming the Islamist militant group al-Shabab for last month's suicide bombings in the regional capital Hargeisa.

Addressing reporters Thursday, Somaliland's interior minister, Abdullahi Ismail Ali, said an investigation found that two al-Shabab leaders masterminded the attacks. He identified them as Ahmed Abdi Godane and Mukhtar Roobow Abu-Mansuur.

The minister said other militants led by a man called Abdulfatah Abdullahi Guutaale carried out the bombings.

The bombers attacked a United Nations office, an Ethiopian consulate, and the presidential palace in Hargeisa October 29. At least 24 people were killed.

Somaliland, located in northern Somalia, has mostly been spared the violence that has wracked southern Somalia as insurgent groups like al-Shabab battle the Somali transitional government.

The U.S. government considers al-Shabab a terrorist organization.

The group is believed to have links to al-Qaida.

Somaliland declared itself separate from the rest of Somalia in 1991 and runs its own affairs, though it is not recognized internationally.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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