News / Africa

    Somalia Car Bomb Kills 12

    Somali government soldiers look at the wreckage of a mangled car used by a suicide bomber at the scene of a bomb attack next to a tea shop in the suburbs of capital Mogadishu February 27, 2014.
    Somali government soldiers look at the wreckage of a mangled car used by a suicide bomber at the scene of a bomb attack next to a tea shop in the suburbs of capital Mogadishu February 27, 2014.
    Somali officials say at least 12 people died and a dozen others were wounded when a car bomb exploded at a restaurant near the headquarters of Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency in Mogadishu.

    The attack Thursday near the intelligence headquarters is one in a series of terror attacks targeting areas frequented by Somali government officials and forces.

    Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
    x
    Click to enlarge
    Click to enlarge
    Local commissioner Abdullahi Hussein Hassan, speaking to reporters on the scene, told reporters the attacker targeted diners in a restaurant.

    "They have attacked a restaurant full of people," he said.  "The attacker exploded the car in front of the restaurant and killed innocent people."

    Another local commissioner, Ali Hamari,  described the carnage at the scene. "We rushed to the scene of the explosion," he said. "We have carried some dead bodies and [people with] injuries, but when we went inside the restaurant, there were so many bodies it's hard for me to say who is a soldier or a civilian at the moment, since we kept taking bodies away.

    Responsibility

    The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was targeting security forces.

    The group has previously warned civilians to avoid areas where Somali government forces and officials operate.

    Al-Shabab Timeline

    2006 - Launches insurgency to take control of Somalia and impose strict Islamic law
    2008 - U.S. declares al-Shabab a foreign terrorist organization
    2009 - Seizes control of parts of Mogadishu and the port city Kismayo
    2010 - Expands control across central and southern Somalia, carries out deadly bombing in Kampala, Uganda
    2011 - Blocks drought/famine aid from areas under its control
    2011 - East African leaders declare al-Shabab a regional threat; Ethiopian, Kenyan troops enter Somalia to pursue the group, which is driven out of Mogadishu
    2012 - Declares itself an al-Qaida ally, loses ground in Somalia, abandons strategic coastal stronghold Kismayo
    2013 - Attacks Mogadishu court complex, killing more than 30 and attacks mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 69 people
    2014 - Attack in Mogadishu kills more than 10 on New Year's Day
    In a statement to the media, Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed condemned Thursday’s attack, describing it as a betrayal of Islam and of peaceful Somali people.

    Al-Shabab once controlled most of Mogadishu, but was pushed out of the city by African Union and Somali government forces in 2011.

    The group still carries out periodic attacks in the city, including one last week when militants set off a car bomb at the presidential palace and stormed the compound with guns. At least 17 people were killed in the attack, although the president was not harmed.

    The recent attacks have brought renewed insecurity and concerns to residents in Mogadishu, which has enjoyed a relative peace during the past two years.

    The Somali government has vowed to stand strong against the militant group, with the goal of making streets in the capital safe and secure.

    • Police officers carry a body after a suicide bomber blew himself up near a cafe in Mogadishu, Feb. 27, 2014.
    • A police officer walks at the scene of a suicide car bomb attack next to a cafe in the suburbs of Mogadishu, Feb. 27, 2014.
    • Somali police move a dead body from the scene of a suicide car bomb attack next to a cafe in the suburbs of Mogadishu, Feb. 27, 2014.
    • Somali government soldiers drive past the scene of a suicide car bomb attack next to a cafe in the suburbs of Mogadishu, Feb. 27, 2014.

    You May Like

    No More Space Race for US, Rivalry Gives Way to Collaboration

    What began as a struggle for dominance in space between two world powers has changed entirely to one of joint efforts

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    How the first generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand, might change America

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugeesi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    May 06, 2016 9:24 PM
    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugees

    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Strangers Share Secrets Through Postcards

    Frank Warren owns a million secrets. Strangers from around the world send him postcards with their confessions, their disappointments, and their hopes for the future, all anonymously. He displays his favorites online and in exhibits, and shares them with audiences in sold-out appearances around the globe. As VOA's Julie Taboh reports, what started as a simple social experiment has evolved into a multi-faceted and hugely successful global phenomenon.
    Video

    Video Largest Ground-based Telescope Under Construction

    While NASA's engineers are nearing the final phase of assembling the new James Webb space telescope, scheduled to be deployed in 2018, an international consortium led by the U.S. is laying foundations and building parts for a ground-based telescope, much larger than any other. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora