Car bomb explosion kills senior police commander in Somalia


MOGADISHU, Somalia - A senior police commander died on spot within the suburbs of Mogadishu on Thursday, a top official said, in an IED attack that also killed another police officer who was in the same vehicle with the senior officer.

A preliminary report indicates that Abdishakur Hussein Abdi alias Jabiri had a bomb planted in his vehicle before it exploded, killing him and another officer on the spot, in what could raise questions about the security of the capital.

Salah Dheere, a spokesperson to Mayor Omar Filish said the bomb which had been attached to the car exploded few meters from the Presidential Palace, which is often targeted by militants in their endless attacks.

"Their car exploded and we suspect the enemy planted a bomb inside. They died on the spot when the bomb went off, it's such a bad incident," he said. "Officers have since sealed the crime scene for further investigations."

The blast occurred near Muna Hotel which is not far from Villa Somalia, the official residence of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, the current leader of the federal government, added the officer.

Another policeman who happened to be in the company of the two was badly wounded following the explosion, and has since been rushed to a city hospital for advanced treatment, said the spokesperson, adding that "normalcy has been restored".

Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants took responsibility for the attack, arguing that their troops "targeted a senior security official by planting a bomb into his vehicle". "He died on spot," the militants added in a statement.

While terming the operation "successful", the militants insisted on "clearing the path by wiping those who oppose our agenda". This was the third explosion within the city in the last three weeks, mainly targeting security officers.

For the last few months, the officers including those from the Somali National Army [SNA] troops have been unleashing on the militants, especially in rural villages of Southern and Central Somalia in which a couple of militants have since died.

This week, the militants targeted the car of General Ali Gaab, a senior officer in charge of the police health department, but their attempts missed him twice. The first attack left one of his guards dead and another one seriously wounded.

The officers who were killed on Thursday were driving along Hooyooyinka junction according to eyewitness when their vehicle went office. The wreckage of the vehicle was sighted along the road, attracting hundreds of passers-by.

Mogadishu has lately been targeted by Al-Shabaab militants, almost a decade after they lost the capital following a sophisticated operation by Somali National Army and those from African Union Mission in Somalia.

But in recent weeks, intelligence reports indicate, the Al-Shabaab have been moving to the town despite the heavy presence of security forces. The FGS has often admitted that the Al-Shabaab threat is still real.

In December last year, an Al-Shabaab VBIED explosion leftover 90 people dead and dozens wounded, in what the militants admitted that was a "miscalculation". The militants were targeting a Turkish convoy, they said in a statement.

Security reports indicate that the militants have continued to lose ground in their territories, a success hugely attributed to Danab troops, AU troops, and the resilient American forces, whose airstrikes have proved "lethal" against the militants.


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