Nairobi, Kenya-Police said at least eight people were killed and 17 were injured in a big explosion outside a school in the Somali capital on Thursday. This was the latest in a series of deadly attacks, as Somalia has experienced a tense election period and a huge humanitarian crisis.
According to police spokesman Abdifata Aden Hassan, a vehicle packed with explosives exploded at around 7:30 am, targeting a convoy of a security company guarding UN personnel. No UN employee was injured in the explosion, he said.
Somali Memo, a news website affiliated with al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al Shabab, said the group was responsible for the attacks that occurred on the main roads in the northwestern Hordan district of the capital Mogadishu. The area is home to many schools, restaurants and the residence of the former president.
At least 13 students from one of those schools, Mocaasir, were injured in the blast. Photographs and videos of the scene showed a broken school bus and a badly damaged classroom.
“If schools and places of study aren’t exempt from goals, this is a real tragedy,” said Abdulkadir Adan, founder of Aamin Ambulance, the first free ambulance service on the ground.
“Students and teachers are now facing trauma as well as physical injury,” he added.
Shabab militant groups have stepped up their attacks in recent weeks, targeting Somali journalists, government officials, police and foreign peacekeepers in suicide bombings, ambushes and assassinations.
At least two people were killed when a suicide bomber in Mogadishu targeted a military convoy belonging to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) in early November.Last week, suicide bombing killed Abdiajismohammad Greed, director of government-owned Radio Mogadishu, said the radical group had been “hunting” for a long time.
Last week, Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, head of the African Union mission, said Shabab increased attacks on election centers and “increased public executions of individuals working with Somali security forces and AMISOM officials.” I told the Security Council.
Authorities and analysts say armed groups are taking advantage of the many economic, political and security challenges facing Somalia. According to the United Nations, worsening drought currently affects about 2.6 million people in 66 of the country’s 74 districts. On Tuesday, Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said Urgent notice He appealed to the international community to strengthen humanitarian assistance.
Somalia, on the Horn of Africa, has also been hit by the epidemic of desert locusts and the continued effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, political leaders continue to vie for drawn, fiercely contested elections. The general election, scheduled earlier this year, was postponed after President Mohamed Abdullah Mohammed moved to expand his control. Voting for lawmakers began in the last few weeks, and many observers have pointed out criticisms of buying and manipulating votes in the process.
Many Somalis are also concerned about the possible withdrawal of African Union peacekeepers, whose mission expires on 31 December. The mission is expected to continue in some way, but after the early withdrawal of the U.S. military, we were able to see Shabab take over the country this year, resulting in significant troop cuts, Somali officials and security Anna said. List says. Despite years of foreign funding and training, experts believe that Somalia’s own security forces are not sufficiently capable of stabilizing the country and protecting its people. ..
“Somalia is currently in a delicate period,” said Omar S. Mahmood, senior Somalia analyst at the International Crisis Group.
“Al-Shabaab was always opportunistic about the violence, especially when political actors were distracted or consumed by internal conflicts,” he said. “In this sense, especially in Mogadishu, exercise is the best time to speed up the attack.”
Hussein Farrahmed contributed to the report from Mogadishu, Somalia.