At least five people were killed Monday in a car bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu, targeting a local government official, local media confirmed.
According to the Somali news portal Goobjoog News, the target of the attack was Mahad Saraue, a civil servant from Daynile district who escaped unharmed. For the moment no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Somalia is facing an increase in the number of attacks by the Islamist militia Al Shabaab – linked to the terrorist organization Al Qaeda – both in the capital and in other areas in the south of the country. In response, the United States has increased its bombing raids against the group.
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Al Shabaab also threatened over the weekend to carry out attacks in Djibouti for hosting U.S. and French troops, ahead of the presidential elections to be held in the country on April 9.
Thus, Ahmed Diriye, alias ‘Abu Ubaida’, leader of the group, said that Djibouti has been turned into a military base “from which all wars against Muslims in East Africa are planned”, while betting on attacks by “lone wolves”.
“Make American and French interests in Djibouti a high priority of your targets,” he said, in a recording released through the terrorist group’s propaganda channels and picked up by the Somali news portal Garowe Online.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokesman Christopher Karns told U.S. broadcaster Voice of America that Washington is aware of the audio and stressed that the mission “takes it seriously”.
“Al Shabaab remains a persistent threat to U.S. interests in East Africa. That is why it is important to apply continued pressure on the Al Shabaab network and isolate the threat it poses to the region and beyond,” he reiterated.
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