Somalia: Al-Shabab claims attack on Af Urur, death toll rises to 12
AF URUR, Puntland - At least 12 people, including 3 Puntland army soldiers were killed and 14 others wounded in an explosion at a Khat market in Af Urur town in Somalia's northern Bari region on Friday, Garowe Onine reports.
Witnesses, speaking to GO said assailants planted an improvised explosive device (IED) at a kiosk in the market just as it was packed with soldiers buying the popular narcotic Khat, killing 12 people, among them 3 soldiers on the spot.
After the explosion, several mortar rounds rained down on the crowded marketplace in Af Urur, however, the exact casualties of the raid were not yet confirmed.
Local residents were in shock following the mortar fire, and fled the scene on foot. Puntland state officials are yet to comment on the incident, which was the latest in series of assaults in the northeastern region in the past few months.
Al shabaab has claimed the responsibility for Friday's deadly attack, which happened as people in the area were celebrating the festival of Eid al-Adha, held after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.
Last June, the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab militants have attacked Puntland army base in Af Urur in last June, which left dozens of soldiers dead.
Af Urur, is small strategic town located about 100-Km (60 miles) south of the commercial and port city of Bosaso, near the Galgala mountains, an area largely controlled by Al Shabaab.