News / Africa

Deadly Bombing in Mogadishu Marks Return of Al-Shabab

Somalia government soldiers carry a man killed during a suicide attack in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, October 4, 2011.
Somalia government soldiers carry a man killed during a suicide attack in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, October 4, 2011.
Gabe Joselow

The Somali militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu that killed at least 60 people.

Witnesses told VOA's Somali service that two suicide bombers drove a truck into a compound housing Somali government offices. Officials say most of the victims were students who had come to the Ministry of Education to learn the results of exams to study abroad.

The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Watch video of the explosion and the immediate aftermath. Warning: contains some graphic images.

The attack is the first in Mogadishu since Somalia's Transitional Federal Government announced in August that it had driven al-Shabab out of the capital, following a successful military operation by government and African Union forces.

Officials at the time said the military victory marked the beginning of the end of al-Shabab.

But, the director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, J. Peter Pham, says the militants may be reverting back to a strategy that worked better for them against foreign militaries in the past.

“Certainly, Al Shabab, when it withdrew from Mogadishu at the beginning of August, several of its leaders threatened to adopt exactly this type of tactic, this type of irregular warfare that had proved so successful against the Ethiopians,” said Pham.

Ethiopian troops helped the TFG battle al-Shabab for two years before withdrawing from Somalia in early 2009.

Pham says it is not yet clear whether al-Shabab, which has lost resources and popular support in recent months, has the ability to sustain a renewed campaign of violence.

But, he says, the TFG has failed to take advantage of its opponent's weaknesses.

“What they should be doing is building up on local support, extending services and presence in the areas that were opened up by Shabab, that's what a government interested in fighting an insurgency would do," he added. "However, knowing the TFG, looking at their record, if this was a wake-up call, I suspect that they've already reached over and hit the snooze alarm.”

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid