Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Update _ Al-Shabaab claims responsibility of the deadly Mogadishu blast
update on suicide blast at the Somali National Theater ( Exclusive first photos )
Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility for an explosion at Somalia’s newly reopened national theatre in Mogadishu that killed at least 10 people, including two of the country’s top sports officials.The group’s military operations spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters news agency that they were behind the theatre blast.He said they were targeting ministers and legislators who he said were the casualties of the attack.The dead included the president of Somalia’s Olympic committee Adan Hajji Yabarow and the president of its football federation Said Mugabi.The two were among a group of dignitaries who had gathered to mark the first anniversary of the launch of Somalia’s national television station.Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali who was present when the attacker struck the newly re-opened national theatre escaped unhurt.The PM escaped unhurt but several other senior Somali officials including four MPs were injured during the attack. Prof. Mohamed Omar Dalha and Mowlid Ma’ane were among the Somali legislators who sustained injuries during the explosion.Over 30 injured people including eight journalists are now being treated in Madina and Dar-ul-Shifa hospitals in Mogadishu, according to terror free somalia correspondents who visited these facilities.Two journalists, a cameraman for Shabelle TV and a radio journalist working for Radio Kulmiye are said to be in critical conditions.The bodies of people who totally burnt and ripped apart, including one which appeared to be the suicide bomber were seen at the scene of the explosion.There has been a surge in suicide bombings and remotely detonated blasts in Mogadishu since Al- Shabaab pulled out of its fixed positions in city earlier last August.Just recently, the group claimed responsibility of a car bomb that claimed the lives of at least five people, injuring several others outside a compound in Mogadishu housing Somalia’s Presidential Palace.There have been also mortar attacks in the city late last month, with some of them slamming into refugee camps for internally displaced persons in Mogadishu, killing several civilians.The UN-backed government is supported by nearly 10,000 African Union troops in its fight against the Al-Shabaab armed group which controls regions of the country and frequently carries out bomb attacks.If the latest attack is proved to the handwork of Al-Shabaab, then this will be the deadliest attack in the city after the October 4 blast were over 76 people were killed.