A car bomb exploded Jan. 4 near a United Nations compound in Somalia, wounding at least four officers, police said.
The explosion follows twin blasts on Jan. 2 that killed nine people.
Major Nur Osman, a police official at the scene, told Reuters the attackers planted the bomb in a car parked in a garage just outside a facility owned by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital.
“We can confirm four guards working for the United Nations were injured,” Osman said.
UNDP posted on Twitter that the blast did not injure any of its staff members. Security officials said they have arrested nine suspects in connection with the attack.
Sheik Abdiasis Abu Musab, military spokesman of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab, confirmed the terror group carried out the explosion. Somalia has battled al-Shabaab’s insurgency since 2006. The extremist group has also launched attacks on African Union peacekeeping bases and countries that contribute to the force, including Kenya and Ethiopia. The 22,000-member force has pushed al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu but began to lose some regained territory after member countries started to pull back their troops. Uganda, which contributed more than 6,000 soldiers, said it would withdraw all its troops by the end of this year. Burundi, the second largest contributor, has also threatened to pull out by next month.
On Jan. 2, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for two attacks near the Mogadishu international airport. The first bomb targeted a checkpoint while the second went off in front of a hotel opposite the airport. Security officials said the blasts destroyed about 10 houses in the area. Rescue workers yesterday found two bodies in the hotel’s rubble, raising the death toll to nine. Officials said some families in the area have reported missing children, but their bodies have not yet been found.
“This is a terrorist act carried out by a group that does not want to see peace and governance in Somalia,” Abdulsalam Hadlive Omer, Somalia’s foreign minister, told VOA.
Courtesy: WORLD News Service
Publication date: January 6, 2017