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Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility for Somalia Bombing

  • VOA News

African Union troops stand next to an armored carrier targeted by suicide car bomb attackers while travelling in a convoy outside the capital, Mogadishu, Somalia, Sept. 8, 2014.

African Union troops stand next to an armored carrier targeted by suicide car bomb attackers while travelling in a convoy outside the capital, Mogadishu, Somalia, Sept. 8, 2014.

Somali militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for two suicide car bombings near Mogadishu that killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 30 others.

The attacks Monday were the first claimed by al-Shabab since the death of the group's leader, Ahmed Godane, in a U.S. strike one week ago.

Monday's bombings took place about 20 kilometers southwest of the capital, in the Lower Shabelle region, where Godane was killed on September 1.

The first bomber targeted troops with the African Union force AMISOM, who were escorting the region's governor, Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur. Witnesses say a car filled with explosives rammed an AMISOM vehicle, sparking a heavy explosion that hit two civilian passenger buses that were passing by.

Nur told VOA's Somali Service that 14 civilians were killed, and two AU troops were wounded.

Later, a second car bomber targeted Somali security forces on their way to the scene of the first blast. A least six people were wounded, among them a senior intelligence official, Abdifatah Shaweye.

Somali officials had put the country on high alert after Godane's death was confirmed Friday. Somali security minister Khalif Ahmed Ereg has said the al-Qaida-linked militants may be planning retaliatory attacks against government facilities.

Al-Shabab has named Abu Ubeid Ahmed Omar as its new leader.

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