Last Updated
Thursday 18 December 2014, 14:58 pm.
Somalia MPs killed in al-Shabab suicide attack

Seven people, including two MPs, have been killed in a suicide attack in central Somalia, authorities in the town of Dusa Mareb have said.
By Staff Writer Fri 19 Dec 2014, 18:27 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Somalia MPs killed in al-Shabab suicide attack








Eyewitnesses told the BBC the attack targeted a group of about 20 politicians at an outdoor cafe. They had travelled to Dusa Mareb in Galgadud region - which is controlled by a pro-government militia - to promote reconciliation.

The Islamist militant group al-Shabab has said it was behind the attack. Al-Shabab is under pressure on a number of military fronts in the south of Somalia - but still mounts frequent attacks and controls much of the country. Al-Sunna Wal Jama'a, the militia which controls much of Galgadud, said the suicide attacker was among the dead.

Several other MPs and prominent politicians - including former Security Minister Ahmed Abdi Salam - were also injured in the attack. Two civilians and two security guards were also killed. Al-Shabab, which merged with al-Qaeda in February, phoned the BBC Somali Service to say it was behind attack.MP Dahir Amin Jesow, who was part of the delegation, told the BBC the attacker was a young man who approached the group casually chewing the mild narcotic leaf khat. Once he was among the group, he detonated an explosive device shouting "Allahu Akbar (God is great)". Somali Prime Minster Abdiweli Mohamed Ali condemned the bombing, telling the BBC it was "an act of terrorism".

Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991 and has been racked by fighting ever since.

The UN-backed transitional Somali government only controls the capital, Mogadishu. Backed by African Union troops it pushed al-Shabab militants out of the city last August, although the group said it was only a "tactical withdrawal" and still successfully targets Mogadishu.(BBC)



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