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Somali Police on high alert over possible VBIED attacks

MOGADISHU – Somali police have stepped up the overall security, following “credible information indicates that key areas may be targeted by Al Shabaab in the Somali capital, Mogadishu”.

The warning comes just weeks after deadly separate attacks claimed by Al Shabaab killed 56 people while nearly 70 other people were also injured.

The new security threat is being circulated about possible 3 cars laden with explosives in the capital of Somalia.

A VOA journalist Harun Macruf says Al Shabaab may be planning to carry out deadly attacks on security checkpoints.

He said one of three vehicles is suspected to be a grey colored Toyota Noah vehicle.

The latest warning came after al-Shabab rumped up its attacks targeting luxury hotels and government buildings for the last couple weeks.

On July 14, heavily armed Al Shabab gunmen stormed into a popular hotel in the coastal town of Kismayo after a suicide car bomb explosion, leaving 33 people dead, police said.

Kismayo, a port town lies some 500km south of the capital, Mogadishu.

On July 22, the group also claimed the responsibility for a suicide explosion at a security checkpoint at the main road to the Mogadishu airport where 17 people, including security soldiers, were killed.

On July 24, a female suicide bomber blew herself up inside municipality headquarters in Mogadishu as mayor of Mogadishu Abdirahman Osman and security officers were holding a security meeting, killing at least six people.

Mogadishu mayor Osman was also injured seriously in the latest suicide attack claimed by Al Shabaab, saying it was targeting UN envoy to Somalia who met mayor Osman earlier the day.

Mr. Osman and ten other local government officials were airlifted to Qatar’s capital, Doha for medical treatment.

Somali armed group al-Shabab regularly targets places frequented by government officials in Somalia and also neighboring Kenya.

The militant group, founded in 2006, wants to impose a strict version of Islamic law and is fighting to overthrow the Western-backed government in Somalia.

The al Qaeda linked group used to control most major cities and towns in southern and central Somalia but a UN-mandated African Union peacekeeping force has pushed them out of those areas of the war-ravaged nation.




Abdi Aziz Hassan Ibrahim is , a somali veteran journalist based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Twitter @mareegonline