Deadly suicide attack targets army convoy in Somali capital

Deadly suicide attack targets army convoy in Somali capital
At least two people were killed in the attack which occured close to the Somali parliament a day after the UN warned al-Shabab remained capable of launching large-scale attacks.
2 min read
06 November, 2016
The attack has been claimed by the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab militant group [AFP]

A suicide car bomb attack on on army convoy close to the Somali parliament headquarters in Mogadishu has resulted in at least two deaths, according to a police official who spoke to The Associated Press.

The attack took place on the Sayidka junction in the Somali capital, sending plumes of dark thick smoke into the sky.

"A car bomb rammed into a security checkpoint close to the parliament house. There are casualties both death and injuries, but I cannot give you a specific number now as an emergency operation to assist the wounded and secure the area is underway," Abdifitah Omar Halane, a spokesman for the Mogadishu regional administration told Voice of America.

The attack could have been more devastating, Captain Mohamed Hussein, a police officer among the first responders to the attack, told AP. However the bomber only struck one of the vehicles travelling in the convoy.

Al-Shabab have since released a statement claiming responsibility for the deadly blast.

The al-Qaeda linked group was forced out of the city by African Union peacekeeping forces in 2011.

However the group continues to wage a deadly guerrilla war across vast swathes of the country and frequently conducts suicide attacks targeting hotels, restaurants, government buildings, and African union troops.

The attack comes only a day after a UN report on Friday warned that al-Shabab remained capable of launching large-scale attacks following recent claims that the group’s insurgency against the Somali state is weakening. 

"Contrary to prevailing narratives of successful counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts, the monitoring group assesses that the security situation has not improved in Somalia," the report from UN sanctions monitors said.

It added that al-Shabab remained “the most immediate threat to peace and security in Somalia and continues to be a destabilizing force in the broader East and Horn of Africa region.”