Fifteen killed in Mogadishu, Somalia suicide bombing

Friday, June 18, 2021

At least fifteen were reported killed on Tuesday in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia after a suicide bombing, claimed by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab, at a checkpoint outside General Dhegobadan Military Camp.

File photo of Al-Shabaab fighters surrendering to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) on September 22, 2012.
Image: AMISOM Public Information.

Army officer Mohamed Adan told Al Jazeera the perpetrator was disguised among army recruits, and put the death toll at "about 15" but suggested it could be higher. A Reuters witness also suggested the number at 15; army chief Odowaa Yusuf Rageh, the target of a 2020 assassination attempt by Al-Shabaab, initially told state media at least ten had been killed and twenty others wounded.

According to Reuters, dozens were present outside Madina Hospital, where the wounded have been taken.

According to multiple reports, this attack is the deadliest in the Somalian capital since a December 2019 truck bombing. That attack killed 85 outside Mogadishu also claimed by Al-Shabaab and resulted in retaliatory air strikes by the Somali government and the United States Africa Command, according to CNN.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack from their radio Al Andalus. The Islamic fundamentalist group, which seeks to overthrow the Somali government, frequently attacks soldiers, military facilities, hotels and security checkpoints, wrote Agence France-Presse. Its position has weakened after a string of defeats: as reported by Garowe Online, six villages used to recruit youths and manufacture explosives were captured by Rageh in recent weeks, with the media estimating 600 militants have been killed this month alone.

Back in November, United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2551 condemned attacks by Al-Shabaab and introduced a ban on the sale, supply or transfer of improved explosive devices components to Somalia due to its frequent use by the group. The UNSC also introduced sanctions on February 26 on three senior Al-Shabaab members, including Maalim Ayman, the founder and leader of Jaysh Ayman, an Al-Shabaab unit active in Kenya and Somalia.