Bomb, gun attack leaves deputy District Commissioner dead in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A deputy District Commissioner was on Sunday night killed in the vicinity of Wanlaweyn town, southern Somalia after a group of unknown gunmen attacked his compound, an incident which left several other people died during the melee.
Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, the DC of the region, died on spot after being met by a bullet before the gunmen fled from the scene according to multiple eyewitnesses. The motive of the attack could not be established immediately but government officials are major targets of terrorists and bandits in Somalia.
The eyewitness said that the gunmen, whose exact number could not be established, raided the compound by first unleashing a grenade, before firing indiscriminately, injuring at least five people who happened to be on the scene at the time of the cowardly attack.
The grenade dismembered the officer's house completely and he's said to have also had two of his family members critically wounded. Police evacuated those who were injured and are currently receiving treatment in a local hospital, officials said.
Police have launched a manhunt for the killers who are believed to have taken refuge in nearby bushes. The killers were armed with AK 47 rifles and grenades with an eyewitness saying that they were in civilian clothes at the time of the attack, making it difficult to establish their identity and the mission.
Reports also indicate that some of those injured are in a critical condition, with a number of children said to have been significantly affected. The attack took place around 8 pm local time in Somalia and is said to have been planned since the attackers never looted anything from the compound.
The slain commissioner was also the town's deputy finance officer, an assignment where he is tasked to collect revenue on behalf of the Federal Government of Somalia. The collection of revenue in Somalia is a daunting task given interests from terrorists and militia groups in the country.
No group has taken responsibility but the Al-Qaida linked group, the Al-Shabaab, is synonymous with the attacks, particularly those targeting security forces, government officials, and foreigners. The group controls large swathes of rural southern and central Somalia.
The attack comes barely a month after the militants raided a compound of a senior military officer within the town, causing massive destruction in the process. According to police reports, the militants had planted IEDs at the compound of the office which exploded without injuring the target.
However, a second explosion outside the compound left several people dead. Reports indicated that the victims were curious bystanders who had rushed to the scene to rescue the officer, who had been supervising onslaught against the Al-Shabaab militants in the town, which is claimed by the militants.
Despite being significantly degraded, the Al-Shabaab militants can still carry small to large scale sporadic attacks across East Africa. Somalia and Kenya have borne the brunt of the attacks, losing a grand total of close to 7,000 civilians and security forces in the attacks.
The Federal Government of Somalia has been working closely with allied forces in the fight against the militants, an operation which has led to the liberation of several strategic towns in Somalia. The most recent town to be captured is Janaale, which was the headquarters of revenue collection in Lower Shebelle.