Mogadishu (AFP) – 11/02/2022. 05:57
Dead and wounded in an attack near a checkpoint leading to the presidential palace in Mogadishu
- Initial inspections indicate that a suicide bomber may be behind the explosion.
- The area was crowded when the explosion occurred
At least six people were killed and 12 wounded, Thursday, in a suspected suicide attack near a checkpoint leading to the presidential palace in the capital. Somali Mogadishu, according to security and medical sources.
“The area was overcrowded when the explosion occurred, and most of the wounded were civilians, and a number of them were in critical condition,” Abdullah Mukhtar, an official in the security forces, told AFP. “Six people were killed and 12 others were wounded.”
explained that Investigation The circumstances of the accident are underway, but “initial examinations indicate” that a suicide bomber may be “behind the explosion.”
A statement issued by the ambulance service confirmed the death toll, but said that 13 people were injured.
Witness Muhammad Tahlil said, “The explosion was huge. I saw ambulances transporting the wounded, some of them seriously.”
The Somali capital has been the scene of a number of attacks in the past weeks.
Youth group threat
The country has plunged into a deep political crisis since the end of the term of President Muhammad Abdullah Muhammad, nicknamed Farmajo, on February 8, 2021, without being able to organize elections.
Since then, disputes have regularly surfaced in the open between the President and Prime Minister, Muhammed Hussein Robley, further delaying the electoral process.
Senate elections ended last year. Tribal delegates have elected about 40 percent of the 275 deputies in the House of Representatives so far.
The political impasse is worrying Somalia’s international backers, who fear it will distract from the threat of the al-Shabab terrorist rebel group, which has been battling the government for more than a decade.
And US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced Tuesday that it would limit the issuance of “visas to current and former Somali officials and other persons whose responsibility or participation in undermining the democratic process in Somalia is suspected.”
“This policy will apply to people who played a role in procedural violations that undermined the electoral process, to those who did not respect their commitments to conduct transparent elections in a timely manner, and to those who harassed, intimidated, and arrested journalists and members of opposition parties or practiced violence against them,” he said in a statement.
Al-Shabab still controls large swathes of rural areas and launches regular attacks in Mogadishu, from which it was pushed out in 2011 after an attack by the African Union force.