Mogadishu — SOME 18 people, including a prominent cleric, have been killed after twin terrorist attacks by the Islamist Al-Shabaab group in Somalia. The attacks were perpetrated in the city of Galkayo and the capital, Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the early morning assault on a compound belonging to the cleric Abdiweli Ali Elmi in the southern portion of Galkayo town.
The church leader had received threats on his life from the jihadist movement in the past.
Meanwhile, a car bomb was reportedly detonated in a busy market in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu in early Monday afternoon. Somali security forces have arrested a suspect.
Nicholas Haysom, the special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia, condemned the terror attacks.
"The attacks in Mogadishu and Galkayo demonstrate the disregard of violent extremists for the sanctity of human life," the envoy said.
"No legitimate political agenda can be advanced through the indiscriminate killing of innocent men, women and children," Haysom added.
He expressed the UN's solidarity with Somalia in its battle against terrorism.
"We extend our condolences to the families and friends of the deceased, and we wish the wounded a full recovery from their injuries."
Al-Shabaab, which has thousands of militants in its ranks, has been active in the East African region since 2006.