Fourteen dead in two attacks in Somalia

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A land mine blast in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, has killed eight people, and mortars launched by rebels at the city airport killed six others, according to witnesses and doctors. The al-Shabaab group was said to be responsible for both the attacks by police officials, although they did not claim responsibility for it.

"All the mortar rounds missed the airport but landed in civilian areas," Ali Muse, coordinator of ambulance services, told Reuters news agency. Five of the six people were killed in the Bakara market, four of them being women. The rebels opened fire soon after President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and the parliament speaker arrived late on Saturday.

The earlier attack occurred near a police station in southern Mogadishu. Several government soldiers died in the attack. Ali Gab, a local police official, said five police officials died in the attack, and blamed al-Shabaab for it. Fadum Hassan, a nurse at a hospital where the injured was being treated, said twenty critically injured people had been admitted to the hospital.

"The explosion killed five soldiers and three [civilians]. Human flesh was everywhere and some of the injured victims were screaming for help," eyewitness Yusuf Abdulqader told Reuters. Relatives of the victims of the attack have blamed the al-Shabaab for the blast. "They have massacred our people, they don't care for our people, our flag and sovereignty," cried Fadumo Abdi, whose son died in the attack.