At least four people were killed, and more others injured after a car laden with explosives went off at a local government compound in Mogadishu, the second attack in the Somali capital since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber targeting Warta Nabada district offices on Tuesday, May 14th. Those inured include the district secretary. The blast also partially destroyed the district headquarters and the surrounding buildings.
The Warta Nabada district headquarters is located near the country’s presidential seat, Villa Somalia.
Emergency services arrived at the scene and took the wounded to hospitals.
The al-Shabab group has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it targeted district security and intelligence officials meeting at the premises
“The mujahideen fighters conducted a martyrdom (suicide) operation on the headquarters of Warta Nabada district as security officials were meeting there, planning operations against what they call ‘terrorism’ and losses were inflicted on the enemy of God,” said an al-Shabab statement, carried by the group’s online news site, Somali Memo.
This is the second attack by al-Shabab since the beginning of Ramadan. On the 12th of this month, a Turkish engineer was killed in a car bomb in Mogadishu’s KM4 Junction near the busy Makka al-Mukarrama Road. Al-Shabab said it carried out the attack that killed the Turkish national.
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group fighting to overthrow the Somali government, is known to increase attacks during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
The Somali government forces and its backers, the African Union troops, have upped the capital’s security during this fasting month, but al-Shabab fighters still find a way to hit heavily-guarded installations including government buildings and military camps.
“Ramadan is the month in which al-Shabab traditionally aims to increase the tempo of its operations. The group has usually managed to do so, even when it has faced internal problems, as a way to raise morale,” a report by Hiiraal Institute, a Mogadishu-based security think-tank said.
Despite being driven out of Mogadishu and other key towns, and coming under increased US drone strikes, al-Shabab is still capable of carrying out attacks on government installations as well as civilian targets.