Somali Islamists target public gathering in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The deadliest Islamic organization in Africa – Al Shabaab still continue targeting civilian and public gathering areas in Somali capital Mogadishu
The group, which ties with al Qaeda was accused of carrying out on Oct 14 attack in Mogadishu, leaving over 500 people, while dozens still missing.
It also claimed to have carried out a suicide attack on restaurant near police academy in Mogadishu on Thursday, killing at least two civilians and injured 14 others, some seriously.
But, the group says it had targeted policemen and other senior officials were sipping tea at the café shop, according to a statement aired by Radio Andulus, an Al Shabaab mouthpiece.
It says 16 people, including police officers and soldiers were killed and injured in the latest attack.
Mareeg Online could not independently verify the casualty claims made by Al Shabaab.
Despite Somali military’s efforts to degrade Al Shabaab, the group still continue treats to war-ravaged nation of Somalia.
But, the group lost key towns to Somali army and African Union peacekeeping troops, who recently carried out joint operation.
The latest operation saw the seizure of truck, which was loaded with explosives after an operation in Awdhegle town, some 60km south of Mogadishu, according to security officials.
Somali intelligence calls the seized truck laden with explosives was the largest ever bomb attack planned by Al Shabaab to target in the capital Mogadishu.
The operation was launched after Mogadishu has seen a week terror attack, which left 36 people dead and dozens injured.
Mogadishu was locked down for security reasons for the last couple weeks, in a bid to search explosives hidden in the capital and to target militants’ hideouts, according to Mayor of Mogadishu.
US strikes increased
United States military has intensified its air strike targeting al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab in south and central Somalia to degrade and to weaken the group’s activities.
The military carried out dozens of strike killed hundreds of militants in Somalia for the last six months, but the group still holds large swaths, according to US Africom military chief.
The al Qaeda liked Al Shabaab carried out last week deadly suicide attack at restaurant in Mogadishu, killing at least 15 people, mostly civilians.
The group was ousted from Somali capital Mogadishu in 2011, after joint operation carried out by the coalition forces.