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World

Somalia Bombings Kill 17 at Local Government HQ

Some of the bodies were discovered in nearby houses destroyed by the blasts, said Col. Muse Hassan, a senior police officer

Somali soldiers stand guard after a suicide bombing attack, July 31, 2016, photo: AP/Farah Abdi Warsameh
1 year ago

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gates of a local government headquarters in Somalia while another bomber targeted a nearby marketplace, killing at least 17 people and wounding more than 30 others, police said Sunday.

Abdisalam Yusuf with the police said one bomber rammed the car into a checkpoint in Galkayo town Sunday morning after reaching the main gate of Puntland’s local government. Puntland, a semi-autonomous state in northern Somalia, controls the northern part of the town, while the southern part is controlled by rival regional state Galmudug.

Map locates a suicide attack in Galkayo, Somalia; 1c x 2 1/2 inches; 46.5 mm x 63 mm;

Map locates a suicide attack in Galkayo, Somalia. Graphic: AP

Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke condemned the twin blasts, saying that “evil-doers” had targeted innocent civilians.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group claimed responsibility for the attack. The town, unlike other parts of the country where al-Shabab continues a deadly guerrilla campaign, rarely sees such attacks.

The town’s main hospital received more than 15 wounded people, including some with horrific wounds, a nurse, Abdikareem Ali, said.

“Some of them were burnt beyond recognition. It was a dark day,” he said.

Some of the bodies were discovered in nearby houses destroyed by the blasts, said Col. Muse Hassan, a senior police officer.

Al-Shabab is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s weak U.N.-backed government with the goal of establishing an Islamic emirate, ruled by a strict version of Shariah law.

More than 22,000 peacekeepers are deployed in Somalia in the multi-national African Union force. Al-Shabab opposes the presence of foreign troops in the country.

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