Somalia suicide bombing: 16 dead

Advertisements

The Al-Qaeda-linked group, which is waging a deadly insurgency in Somalia and regularly targets military and government officials, has previously claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the region.

The death toll from a suicide bombing in Somalia has risen to 16, after a number of people hurt in the blast succumbed to their injuries overnight, security sources told AFP on Saturday.

Initially, six people including three senior military officials were killed Friday when a suicide bomber attacked a stadium in the Somali city of Galkayo, ahead of the planned arrival of the countryโ€™s prime minister.

Advertisements

But a local security official told AFP by telephone on Saturday: โ€œThe number of people who have died in the blast increased this morning, 16 people, most of them civilians, died, according to the information we have.โ€

Police official Ahmed Abdiasiz said โ€œthe location where the blast occurred was overcrowdedโ€ฆ so that many people who sustained serious injuries died later. Apart from the members of the army nearly ten civilians also died in the blastโ€.

Advertisements

The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place as a crowd waited for the arrival of Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.

The stadium is located in the south of Galkayo, the capital of the north-central Mudug region, and 600 kilometres (370 miles) north of Mogadishu.

Galkayo is divided between two self-proclaimed semi-autonomous states Puntland and Galmudug, which includes Mudug.

Advertisements

On Friday, Galkayo military commander Colonel Ahmed Dahir said the suicide bomber had targeted โ€œsenior military officials who stayed close to the entrance of the stadium.โ€

Al-Shabaab said in a statement that it had targeted the prime minister in the attack, which it claimed had killed the commanders of two local units.

โ€œMy uncle was among the dead, he was one of the military officials who have died in the blast. We are devastated and the whole family is grieving,โ€ said one resident, Dahir Ali.

โ€œHe will be buried very soon together with four of his colleagues who have died in the blast.โ€

Advertisements

Another resident, Mumin Adan, said: โ€œThe town is mourning today and there are many dead bodies buried at main cemetery, I have seen more than ten people carried for burialโ€.

Somalia plunged into chaos after the 1991 overthrow of then-President Siad Barreโ€™s military regime, leading to years of clan warfare followed by the rise of Al-Shabaab, which once controlled large parts of the country and Mogadishu.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy