Africa
  World
  Islam
  Health
  Photos

World Islamic Prayer

Cimilada
VOA Somali
BBC Somali 14:00
BBC Somali 18:00
Deutsche Welle
BBC Radio
Voice of America
IRIN Radio
NPR Radio
Radio Netherland
Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 - 5:11:05 AM
Somalia
Suicide blast by offices of Somalia president and PM

Two security guards have been killed in a suicide attack near the offices of Somalia's president and prime minister.

Three other guards were also wounded when the assailant blew himself up at a checkpoint near the compound housing the offices in the capital, Mogadishu.

The bomber was an ex-Islamist militant recently sacked from his job in the intelligence services, officials said.

Militants aligned to al-Qaeda have lost control of major towns in the last 18 months but still carry out attacks.

The president and prime minister took office following elections last September which were considered the first fair polls in Somalia for 42 years.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, an academic and civic activist, beat the incumbent in a run-off vote by MPs to become president.

He then appointed his close associate, former businessman Abdi Farah Shirdon, as prime minister.

'Heroic'
The attacker detonated his explosives when he was questioned at a checkpoint into Villa Somalia, a sprawling compound that houses both the president's and prime minister's offices, officials said.

Information Minister Abdullahi Hersi said the bomber, a former member of the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, had been an employee of the intelligence services until recently.

The African Union (AU) mission in Somalia - which has 18,000 troops in the country supporting and training government troops - said the bomber blew himself up as he was chased away from the checkpoint.

"The heroic actions of the dead soldier and his compatriots have saved many Somali lives," said Mohamat Annadif, the AU's special representative on Somalia, said in a statement.

Correspondents say it is not clear if Prime Minister Shirdon was in the compound at the time. President Mohamud was not in the country.

Their new government is trying to rebuild Somalia after more than 20 years of conflict -

One of its biggest challenges is how to deal with al-Shabab, which has joined al-Qaeda and still controls large areas of southern and central Somalia.

The BBC's Abdullahi Abdi, reporting from Kenya, says that the number of suicide attacks in Mogadishu has decreased since the withdrawal of al-Shabab from the capital in August 2011.

But the latest attack shows that the militants still pose a threat to the city's security, he adds.

Meanwhile, the United Nations World Food Programme has announced that it has resumed distribution of food aid in the southern port city of Kismayo for the first time in four years.

The WFP and other international aid organisations have not been allowed to work in areas controlled by al-Shabab.

Feeding centres providing hot meals for 15,000 people have been set up in Kismayo, which AU and government forces recaptured last September.

A recent survey showed high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity in the city, the WFP said.

"The survey showed that almost half the households in Kismayo are really struggling to meet their daily needs, and 24% of children below the age of five are malnourished," Stefano Porretti, WFP's representative in Somalia, said in a statement.

Years of fighting between rival clan-based warlords as well as Islamist militants has led to an inability in the drought-prone country to deal with hunger and disease.

Source: BBC
RELATED:
Somalia: State Funeral held for popular musician, MP Saado
Somalia: MP murder sparks widespread condemnation
Somalia: Female MP gunned down in Mogadishu amid Ramadan rampage


Advertisement
 

Somalia: Puntland President not adamant about domestic, external threats [Editorial]

EDITORS PICK:

Somalia: State Funeral held for popular musician, MP Saado

MOGADISHU, Somalia July 24, 2014 (Garowe Online)

Somalia: MP murder sparks widespread condemnation

United States Condemns the Killing of Somali MP Saado Ali Warsame in Mogadishu

Somalia: Female MP gunned down in Mogadishu amid Ramadan rampage

Somali lawmaker shot dead in drive-by shooting

Somalia: Kenya warplanes target Al Shabaab hideouts again

Somalia: Federal Govt mediates between warring militias in Hiraan

Somalia: Puntland parliament passes controversial media bill

Somalia: Puntland President not adamant about domestic, external threats [Editorial]

Somalia: Puntland Govt seeking to contain polio spread

Somalia's al Shabaab claim responsibility for Kenya bus attack

Somalia: Federal Govt forms technical committee for south-west state

Somalia: Jubaland forces clash with Al Shabaab militants

Somalia: Allied forces, Al Shabaab clash in deadly battle near Qoryoley

About Us | Disclaimer | Copyright | Contact Us