MOGADISHU – Somali armed group Al Shabaab has vowed to rump up its deadly attacks, a day after a suicide car bomb hit near country’s Presidential Palace in the capital of Mogadishu
Sheikh Abulaziz Abu Muscab, spokesman for al-Shabab’s military operations wing said one its bomber had killed 27 people in a suicide attack on Wednesday in Mogadishu.
He says military officers and former Somali foreign minister were among those killed in the explosion.
But, Somali police say a car bomber had joined a queue of vehicles waiting to get through a checkpoint and then blew himself up, leaving only 5 people.
Abu Muscab says its fighters had conducted 83 different attacks during the first 15 days of the holy month of Ramadan, including assassinations, bombings, and ambushes in Somalia and the neighboring state of Kenya.
He says 35 of attacks were carried out in Mogadishu and 22 others were executed in neighboring towns of lower Shabelle region while 4 in the northeast of Kenya.
Abu Muscab claimed to have killed 23 African Union peacekeeping troops and 53 Somali soldiers in those attacks.
Ever since the rebel group was pushed out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 after a joint offensive carried out by Somalia and African Union troops.
The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab militants continue to hold small rural areas in central and southern Somalia.
The group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.
It has lost control of many towns and cities to a 22,000-strong African Union force supporting the government.