News / Africa

    At Least 15 Killed in Somalia Attack

    Somali government soldiers at scene of Baladweyne suicide bombing, Somalia, Oct. 19, 2013.
    Somali government soldiers at scene of Baladweyne suicide bombing, Somalia, Oct. 19, 2013.

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    VOA News
    The militant Somali group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing Saturday that killed at least 15 and left dozens wounded in western Somalia, near the border with Ethiopia.
     
    An al-Shabab statement said the attack targeted a cafe in the city of Beledweyne where soldiers gather, and said the dead included Ethiopian and Djibouti troops as well as Somali soldiers. The al-Qaida-linked group, which says a series of recent attacks are retaliation for the presence of foreign troops in Somalia, claimed to have killed more than 20 people in Saturday's blast, including 13 Ethiopian troops.
     
    Somali Prime Minister Abid Farah Shirdon said the attack occurred near a government administrative facility, and that local intellectuals and civic groups had met nearby for the past week to debate the future of the targeted Hiiraan district. He did not provide an exact death toll, which militants placed at 25.
     
    The prime ministers condemned the attack, saying its goal was to "scare Somali people" who were ready to decide their own future, adding that Somalis would "not go back."
     
    Beledweyne official Bashir Hussein Dhoor told VOA's Somali service that at least seven civilians were among the dead.
     
    A VOA reporter in the city said at least seven of the wounded were in serious condition.
     
    The attack came four weeks after a sweeping al-Shabab attack on a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, which killed nearly 70 people and brought international attention and widespread condemnation to the militant group.
     
    Al-Shabab rose to regional prominence as a nationalist movement fighting the 2006 U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. The group eventually controlled large parts of the country, until driven into the countryside by the African-Union-led peacekeeping force AMISOM in 2011 and 2012.
     
    Earlier this month, the United Nations said more military force was needed to push the militants from their remaining rural strongholds.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Comments
         
    by: raamoole from: somalia
    October 21, 2013 10:39 AM
    I'm very sorry The death of. People who were killed by terrorist milatant alshabaab, I would give advise somali people to be vigelant and stop gethering one place. For their safety reason, I'm somali. Aboy who fled from somalia. Three years ago. And live in. Foreign counrty , so. I. Would like to see that. Alshabaab chase. Away from somalia. Become peacefully. Nation.

    by: Danlami from: Nigeria
    October 20, 2013 10:19 AM
    UN should intensify effort in mobilizing troops to area in other to curtail number of casualties n prevent further attack. innocent souls are lost almost on daily basis.

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    October 20, 2013 12:07 AM
    Only Somalis, nobody else, can blow a total defeat to Al Shabab. But the government of Somalia is in a extremely remote distance from achieving that goal. First of all, Somalis have to overcome infighting, senseless clan-based regional authority divisions, phenomenon corruptions, political motivated assassinations and nepotism. It's fatally miscalculations for Somalis to rely solely on AMISOM to do the war against Al Shabab for them. AMISOM are ill equipped to annihilate the terrorists. Mogadishu is the only city seems under the control of AMISOM forces but Al Shabab had shown the capacity to attack anywhere in the capital city at will. Somalia will never ever experience lasting peace and economic development break through without first crafting a national coherent plan to decimate our enemies. Somalia have got to wake up before its too LATE!!
    In Response

    by: U. Stevenson from: Malmo, Sweden
    October 21, 2013 3:27 AM
    So sorry to tell you that your country will not wake up at any time soon. Having worked there for five long years I noticed that everyone wants to become a leader, president, prime minister, minister, ambassador, chief of clan and so forth. After two decades of war there is no plan to have a national reconciliation forum, because it appears nobody wants it. Economic development and lasting peace for Somalia is just another wishful thinking.

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