Shabaab suicide bomber kills 12 in Mogadishu
Shabaab launched another suicide attack today in Mogadishu. The attack targeted security and intelligence personnel at a cafe outside a base in the capital. Garowe Online reports:
According to witnesses, a speedy car hit a busy restaurant near a security checkpoint at the entrance to Habar-khadijo intelligence base in Mogadishu's Shibis district.
"I saw 12 bodies lying motionless on the ground and other 8 people were wounded in the thunderous explosion. The security forces immediately cordoned off the roads leading to the scene of the attack," an eyewitness told Garowe Online.
Shabaab, al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, quickly claimed credit for the attack, and said more are to come.
"Today's blast was part of our operations in Mogadishu and we shall continue," Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Musab told Reuters.
Today's suicide attack is the third in the capital in the past two weeks. On Feb. 14, a suicide bomber killed seven people in an attack that targeted a United Nations convoy as it traveled through Mogadishu. And on Feb. 21, Shabaab executed a complex suicide assault against the presidential compound in a highly secured area of Mogadishu. Several government officials were killed during the assault.
Although Shabaab abandoned Mogadishu, Kismayo, and other large cities in Somalia after a combined African Union, Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Somali offensive that began in 2011, it still controls several major towns and cities along the coast between Kismayo and Mogadishu, including Jilib, Baraawe, and Merca, as well as other areas throughout the country. Shabaab has retained the capacity to launch suicide and other attacks in the capital as well as the high-profile suicide assault on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya last year.