Somalia: 19 killed in Galkayo suicide bombings [Update]
GALKAYO, Somalia-At least 19 people including ten government soldiers have been killed and 43 others wounded after suicide bombers tore through busy market and Galkayo municipality complex on Sunday morning, Garowe Online reports.
Witnesses said, a bomb-laden truck firstly smashed into a busy Dayaha market, followed by another car bomb in front of Galkayo local government headquarters.
Puntland government has yet to detail the deadliest bombing in Galkayo where Al Shabaab previously carried out targeted killings against government officials and key figures.
Al Shabaab spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Photographic images taken from the site of blasts reflect gruesome scenes, with severed bodies in a pool of blood.
The blasts coincide with anti-terror raids being conducted against suspected Al Shabaab cells by US-trained Special Unit, Danab (Lightning).
Analysts point to serious intelligence laxity in the wake of the apparently coordinated Galkayo terror attacks.
Local clans had already expressed concern over the presence of Danab commandos in the city’s vast north.
Puntland Defence Forces (PDFs) neutralized boatloads of militants in counteroffensives in Suuj valley and Garacad earlier in March.
The troops are also locked in sporadic anti-terrorism offensives in difficult terrain of Galgala and, along Golis Mountain Ranges.
Galkayo, located at Puntland’s southern gateway has witnessed a series of targeted killings in recent months.
UN envoy to Somalia Ambassador Michael Keating has strongly condemned the twin explosions in Galkayo.
“Extremists have once again demonstrated their disregard for human life,” said Keating. “This act of terror highlights the vulnerability of Somali civilians including children to actors who continue to use violence to achieve their objectives.”
Continuing, he added:” Our heartfelt condolences go out to the loved ones of the victims, especially the parents of the children who have suffered the worst tragedy that can befall a family.”