Somalia: High-ranking police officer dies in Al-Shabaab explosion
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A senior police boss was on Friday killed in an Al-Shabaab explosion near Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, the state media said, in the latest wave of attacks targeting senior security officers and government officials in the Horn of Africa nation.
Police reports indicate Brigadier General Farhan Mohamoud Aden known as Farhan Qarole was killed near Bal'ad town, at least 30 kilometers north of Mogadishu, in an attack that would trigger a crackdown against the militants, who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
Farhan was one of the commanders leading the security operation taking place in the vicinity of Basra. The Somali security officers have been leading operations across the country for the last three weeks.
The top government leaders, including President Hassan Sheikh and PM Hamza Abdi Barre have offered condolences over the death of the police official.
His murder comes at the time the Somali National Army, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] soldiers, the US Africa Command, and local militia have been fighting Al-Shabaab in the country's central regions since last month, in a bid to liberate villages from the militants.
In America during his visit, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud insisted that he was keen to fight Al-Shabaab, adding that he will not negotiate with the group as the army readied to degrade it. The government thanked civilians for joining the crackdown against Al-Shabaab.
The US has pledged to assist the country tackle Al-Shabaab through aerial surveillance and bombardments targeting the militants. Already, US Africa Command has launched about five drone strikes in Al-Shabaab strongholds, claiming the lives of several people.
In the same IED blast that killed Farhan Qarole, a journalist working for the state media was also killed. The Al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to social media sites supporting the group.