3 October 2012

Somalia: Fear Grips Kismayo Residents, After String of Bombings

Photo: Stuart Price/UN
Al Shabaab suspects (file photo).

Kismayo — A string of bombings rocked Kismayo, the former Al Shabaab stronghold on Tuesday, killing two civilians and injuring many more, Garowe Online reports.

According to Somali military officials the bombings were IED's planted in several places including the port, allied forces' bases and in the center of the Kismayo.

As of yet the death toll in the bombings has not been confirmed independently, however the spokesman for Somali government forces stationed in Jubba region said that there were two civilian casualties in the bombings.

"There were two civilian deaths in the bombings on Tuesday and many more injured. There were no military casualties in the bombings," said Col. Adan Rufle

The bombings rocked the tense port city of Kismayo just after Somali and Kenyan forces conducted their final sweeps of the cities' neighborhoods.

According to local sources the bombings occurred a few minutes after the city was fully in the control of the allied forces.

Spokesman for the Al Shabaab Abdiaziz Abu Musab stated that his agents were successful in their bombings on Tuesday adding that they would continue their fight "until doomsday".

The city of Kismayo is relatively calm after Tuesday's bombings however residents say that things have not returned to normal and fear levels are elevated.

"We haven't had a peaceful sleep since the battle intensified late last month. And now that the troops are in Kismayo many residents fear that fighting will begin in the city," said Omar Musa a Kismayo resident who spoke to Garowe Online by telephone.

Omar sent his wife and four children out of Kismayo when fighting intensified. He stayed behind to finish up packing his small business however allied forces captured Kismayo before he could leave.

"Although the city is still dangerous I can't leave. Now that the allied forces are here residents who stayed behind are terrified to leave because we possibly could get branded as terrorists," said Mr. Musa.

Fear of more attacks has gripped residents who were accustomed to stability throughout Al Shabaab's five-year control of Kismayo.

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