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Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 - 5:11:05 AM
Al Shabaab claim responsibility for Puntland bombings

BOSSASO, Somalia Feb 6 (Garowe Online) - The Somali resistance group, al Shabaab, has claimed responsibility for twin bombings in the port city of Bossaso yesterday, which killed at least 20 people.

On an Internet posting, written in the Somali language, al Shabaab said they targeted the location near the Bossaso part “after confirming that some Ethiopian soldiers who fought in Mogadishu live there...some brought their wives.”

Wounded victims at Bossaso hospital/GO
“This location [in Bossaso] was a place where Ethiopian and Puntland soldiers go for entertainment, with sinful acts and harmful culture,” the statement read.

The latest reports indicate that 20 bodies were buried in mass graves on Wednesday, with another 70 people being treated for wounds at local hospitals. At the time of the attack, the assortment of victims were watching films, chewing khat or sleeping, according to witnesses.

Puntland Vice President Hassan Dahir Afqura condemned the attack and vowed to take strong measures against al Shabaab guerrillas behind the deadly attack.

Wounded victims at Bossaso hospital/GO
He said that most of the victims were Ethiopian migrants, mostly from the Oromo ethnic group, who came to Puntland in the hope of eventually reaching Yemen and beyond by crossing the Gulf of Aden.

A Puntland Cabinet meeting held in Bossaso today called on the government to lend financial and medical support to the wounded.

“This [attack] was a warning to the Puntland administration which has shown a hearty welcome and love to our historical enemy, the Ethiopian army, and has made Puntland into a resting place [for Ethiopian soldiers],” the al Shabaab statement statement read.

Al Shabaab fighters are responsible for most anti-government attacks in the capital Mogadishu, where Ethiopian troops are helping prop up the fragile transitional government.

This is the group's first attack in the Puntland regions.

Puntland is seen as the main domestic backer of the Somali government, and has provided both financial and manpower support since 2004 when the government came to power.

Source: Garowe Online

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