At least 79 people died and scores more were wounded when a car bomb exploded at a busy checkpoint in the capital, Mogadishu on Saturday. Police officer Mohamed Hussein was quoted by the media as saying the blast targeted a...Dec 29th 2019 · 1 min read
At least 79 people died and scores more were wounded when a car bomb exploded at a busy checkpoint in the capital, Mogadishu on Saturday.
Police officer Mohamed Hussein was quoted by the media as saying the blast targeted a tax collection centre during the morning rush hour.
Those wounded include children and several university students who had been travelling in a bus, Hussein told Reuters.
Rescuers carried bodies past the twisted wreckage of a vehicle and a minibus taxi smeared with blood.
Three witnesses said a small team of Turkish engineers was present at the time of the blast at the Ex-Control checkpoint, constructing a road to the city.
The incident has raised fears about the Somali security forces’ ability to maintain security amid international calls for the drawdown of AMISOM forces in Somalia.
AMISOM troops are required to conduct a gradual handover of security responsibilities to Somali forces, who aim to take the lead by 2021.
UN chief António Guterres condemned what he described as “this horrendous crime”, according to a statement issued by his spokesman.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission said he was “deeply shocked by the attack” as precious lives lost were university students; women and children the very future of Somalia, as well as Somali national security forces.
Terror group, Al Shabaab is suspected for masterminding the bombing.
Uganda’s Deputy Ambassador to Somalia, Rtd Maj Gen Nathan Mugisha recently warned that more work needed to be done to guarantee security of Somalia before AMISOM’s exit.
“Those who will remain; how will they manage the situation? That means we will have to lose ground. It shrinks. That would be handing over to al Shabaab,” he observed.
“And of course we will have problems. We have communities which are very supportive. For example the communities in Barawe, over 90 percent want peace. As I speak, if there is any place we would draw down, Barawe will have to go. So what happens to that community? It means people will be displaced,” he emphasised.
Uganda provides thousands of forces to AMISOM which has in recent years secured vast territory across the country from the grip of Al Shabaab.