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Al-Shabaab militants claim huge Mogadishu bomb attack that killed over 80 people

Al-Shabaab Islamist militants have claimed responsibility for Saturday's massive car bomb in the Somali capital Mogadishu that killed 81 people, including two Turkish citizens.

Dec 31st 2019 · 2 min read
Al-Shabaab militants claim huge Mogadishu bomb attack that killed over 80 people

Mogadishu – Al-Shabaab Islamist militants have

claimed responsibility for Saturday's massive car bomb in the Somali capital

Mogadishu that killed 81 people, including two Turkish citizens.The attack hit a busy checkpoint in the southwest

of the city, leaving vehicles charred and twisted at a crossroads in the

deadliest assault in two years in the Horn of Africa country. Scores more were wounded in an area clogged with

traffic because of the security checkpoint and a tax office collecting fees

from trucks and buses."...the mujahideen carried (out) an attack...

targeting a convoy of Turkish mercenaries and apostate militia who were

escorting them," Al-Shabaab spokesperson Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage said in an

audio message.Among the dead were 16 students from the private

Banadir university, whose bus was passing through the crossroads as the bomb

detonated.Apologised to civilian victimsMogadishu is regularly hit by attacks by

Al-Shabaab, which has fought for more than a decade to topple the Somali

government.For the first time, Al-Shabaab apologised to the

civilian victims of the attack, which it justified as necessary in the fight

against the Somali state and its foreign backers."We are very sorry about the casualty that was

inflicted on our Somali Muslim society, and we are extending our condolences to

the Muslims who have lost their lives and or (were) wounded and or had their

property destroyed."Al-Shabaab do not usually claim attacks that cause

such high casualty rates among the civilian population, for fear of losing the

support they still enjoy with some Somalis.The message also accused Turkey of trying to

control Somalia's resources. Turkey is a major donor and investor in Somalia,

especially in humanitarian aid and reconstruction. Turkish companies manage Mogadishu's

port and airport."The Turks are our enemies and as we have said

before, we will not stop fighting until they withdraw from our lands," the

spokesperson said.US air strikesThe death toll increased to 81 on Monday, after two

victims died from their wounds, the Somali information ministry said.One of the new fatalities was among the injured who

had been evacuated to Turkey via a Turkish military plane on Sunday.Saturday's attack was the biggest to hit Somalia

since a truck exploded in 2017 near a fuel tanker in Mogadishu, creating a

fireball that killed over 500 people.In 2010, Al-Shabaab declared its allegiance to

Al-Qaeda. But its fighters fled positions they once held in the capital

Mogadishu, and have since lost many strongholds.They retain control of large rural swathes of the

country and continue to wage a guerrilla war against the authorities, managing

to inflict bloody attacks at home and abroad.The United States military said on Sunday it had

killed four "terrorists" in three airstrikes targeting Al-Shabaab.US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said two militants were

killed and two vehicles destroyed in Qunyo Barrow, while two more militants

were killed in Caliyoow Barrow.The US regularly carries out airstrikes in Somalia,

though the frequency of such operations has risen sharply this year.In an April statement, AFRICOM said it had killed

more than 800 people in 110 strikes in Somalia since April 2017.

last updated: 2019-12-31@22:12