Shabaab targets local government headquarters with suicide bombing

Earlier today, Shabaab claimed credit for a deadly suicide car bombing outside of the Hodon district’s headquarters in Somalia’s Mogadishu. At least six people were killed in the blast and another 16 were wounded.

In a statement released through its Shahada News Agency, Shabaab claimed that its operation killed over 20 people and wounded another 33. However, casualty numbers are routinely inflated by the jihadist group. Local officials have confirmed that at least six people were killed in the attack.

According to Reuters, the suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into the offices of the Hodon district before detonating his explosives. Garowe Online, a local news publication, reported that several nearby buildings also collapsed from the bombing, adding to the casualty toll. This comes only a week after Shabaab conducted a similar operation also in Mogadishu.

Last Sunday, a suicide car bomb sped through a checkpoint outside the Hawlwadag district headquarters before detonating. Three people were killed in the bombing, while another 14 were wounded.

Shabaab has remained a persistent threat to the Somali government and neighboring countries despite efforts by both the African Union and the US to defeat it over the past decade. Over the past several years, the group has launched attacks that have killed hundreds of African Union forces from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, and Ethiopia. These Shabaab assaults have forced African Union troops to withdraw from several cities and towns in southern Somalia.

A recent study by FDD’s Long War Journal on 418 Shabaab attack claims in a six-month period between Oct. 2017 and April 2018, found that at least 30 percent of Shabaab attacks took place in or near Mogadishu. However, only 23 attacks were against the Somali government.  Unfortunately as seen with today’s suicide bombing, it also retains the ability to strike in more heavily fortified areas within the capital.

Caleb Weiss is an editor of FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.

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1 Comment

  • Salman Ahmed Ibrahim says:

    we as somali civilians are the most vulnerable and suffer the most.
    when a single explosion happens or some one assassinated.
    because mass arrests are made and innocent people particularly the youth are the considered the suspects.
    i was very close to Hodan district when the explosion shook the entire Hodan village. Hope to see somali people live in harmony


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