News / Africa

Suicide Bomber Kills 2 in Somali Capital

Somali soldiers patrol at the front gate of the presidential palace following a suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, January 29, 2013.
Somali soldiers patrol at the front gate of the presidential palace following a suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, January 29, 2013.
— Somali officials say at least two people have been killed and three others wounded after a bomber blew himself up outside the Somali prime minister’s office.  The attack comes at a time the capital is enjoying relative peace and thousands of Somalis are returning home.

The attack Tuesday at the Villa Somalia complex in central Mogadishu was the first suicide bombing in the city this year.

The bomber set off the blast near a group of soldiers killing two people and wounding others. The president was out of the country and the prime minister is reported to be safe.

A press statement from the prime minister’s office, read by Information Minister Abdulah el Mogeh Hirsi, says Tuesday’s attack wasn’t only a attack against the government but also against its citizens.

The prime minister, in the statement, condemned the attack of the terrorist who he said tried to come to the presidential compound so that he could terrorize the government, security forces and its people.  The statement says anyone who tries to attack the government not only attacks the government but all humanity.

According to some of the guards of the prime minister, the attacker was an al-Shabab defector.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but the al-Qaida-linked group has claimed responsibility for some isolated attacks in the capital, including a suicide bombing in September outside a hotel where the president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was meeting delegates from Kenya.

African Union and Somali forces drove al-Shabab militants from the city 18 months ago.  In September of last year, attacks from the sea, air and ground by Kenyan troops forced the militants to withdraw from their last major stronghold and financial hub, the port city of Kismayo.

Hirsi said al-Shabab is trying to undermine the six-month-old Somali government.

Hirsi said people like Tuesday's attacker are people who are not happy with the progress the new Somali government has made.  He says we all know the end of al-Shabab is near and he says all of the international community is united to fight them not only here in Somalia but everywhere they are, like Mali.

Al-Shabab's power has waned but the group is still considered a threat.  Earlier this month, the group executed a French hostage, Denis Allex, and has warned it will kill a group of Kenyan hostages unless Kenya releases Muslims arrested on charges of terrorism.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.