Shabab Sets Off Deadly Explosions in Mogadishu, Killing at Least 8


NAIROBI — A car bomb exploded on Saturday at a checkpoint near the Somali Parliament, killing at least eight people and injuring 16 others, medical and police officials said.

“We have confirmed eight people killed and 16 others wounded in the blast,” according to a statement issued by Aamin Ambulance, a privately-owned medical transportation service.

A separate blast from a roadside bomb in Mogadishu hit a police vehicle patrolling near Kenya’s border with Somalia on Saturday, killing several of the 11 officers inside, a police spokesman, Charles Owino, said.

The toll from that attack was not immediately clear, he said.

Another blast, at a busy junction leading to the airport of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and known as K4, did not cause any casualties after it was intercepted by security services.

The Shabab, an Islamist insurgent group aligned with Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attacks, which occurred a day after its members kidnapped three Kenyan police reserve officers from the same area, Wajir District in northeast Kenya.

Kenyan military forces have occupied part of southern Somalia along the border since 2011. The Kenyans, along with allied Somali militia members, wrested control of the territory from Shabaab jihadists after a number of kidnappings on Kenyan soil.

The Shabab are fighting the United Nations-backed Somali government and its Western allies in an effort to impose strict Shariah law. The group was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds.

In March, the extremists claimed responsibility for a car bomb that exploded near a hotel and restaurant in Mogadishu, killing at least 15 people. That same month, gunmen from the militant group stormed a government building in the capital, killing at least five people, including the country’s deputy labor minister, the police said.

Source : Nytimes