24 May 2009

Somalia: Suicide Bomber Kills 10 in Mogadishu, Including Six Soldiers

At least 10 people were killed Sunday including six government soldiers in the Somali capital Mogadishu when a suicide bomber targeted a military installation, Radio Garowe reports.

The suicide bomber drove a Toyota truck laced with explosives into the military installation, killing six soldiers and three civilian bystanders, military officials said.

"Six of our soldiers were killed by the suicide bombing including the soldier who shot the suicide bomber," said Col. Osman Abdullahi "Agey," commander of the military facility that was attacked.

At least nine people including four soldiers were wounded by the blast, which occurred in Hamar Jajab district of central Mogadishu but the blast was heard across town.

The wounded soldiers were being treated at a private hospital operated by the African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM), which maintains a major base at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport.

An independent journalist who visited the location of the explosion afterwards described a horrific scene with human pieces lying around.Foreign fighters blamed

Foreign fighters blamed

Mr. Abdifatah Shaweye, the young deputy mayor of Mogadishu, told reporters that Al Shabaab insurgents are responsible for the suicide bombing.

"The [suicide] bomber was white-skinned and was not a national of this country [Somalia]," Mr. Shaweye said, adding that the government will present its findings after the ongoing investigation is completed.

No group has publicly claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Al Shabaab insurgents have claimed responsibility for previous suicide bombings in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia.

Sunday's deadly attack comes after two days of fighting between government forces and anti-government insurgents, led by Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam hardliners.

Somali government leaders have repeatedly accused Al Shabaab of sheltering foreign fighters using them to attack government targets. Al Shabaab leaders have referred to the foreign fighters as "Muslim brothers" and have in turn accused the government of being a puppet of the West.

Somalia's interim government is the 15th attempt to restore national order by the international community since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

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