Explosion Outside School Kills 8 in Somalia’s Capital

Explosion Outside School Kills 8 in Somalia’s Capital
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Explosion Outside School Kills 8 in Somalia’s Capital

Explosion Outside School Kills 8 in Somalia’s Capital

Nairobi, Kenya – A bomb blast outside a school in the Somali capital on Thursday killed at least eight people and injured 17 others, police said. It was the latest in a series of deadly attacks as Somalia is experiencing a tense election period and a massive humanitarian crisis.

The bomber struck shortly after 7:30 a.m. in front of a convoy of security forces guarding UN staff, police spokesman Abdifatah Aden Hassan said. He said no UN staff member was injured in the blast.

The Somali Memo, a news website affiliated with the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the attack on a major road in the northwestern Hodan district of Mogadishu. The district has many schools, restaurants and residences of former presidents.

At least 13 students of Mokasir school were injured in the blast. Photos and videos from the scene show extensive damage to school buses and classrooms.

“If schools and places of learning are not free from targets, then this is a real tragedy,” said Abdul Qadir Adan, founder of Amin Ambulance, a free ambulance service that was the first to respond to the scene.

He further said, “Students and teachers now face not only physical injuries but also mental trauma.”

The militant group Shabab has stepped up its attacks in recent weeks, with suicide bombings, attacks and assassinations targeting Somali journalists, government officials, police and foreign peacekeepers.

At least two people were killed when a suicide bomber struck a convoy of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Mogadishu in early November. There was a suicide bombing last week Killed Abdiaziz Mohamed Guled, director of the state-owned Radio Mogadishu, was told by the militant group that he had been “hunting” for a long time.

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Last week, the head of the African Union mission, Francisco Catano Jose Madeira, told the UN Security Council that Shabab had stepped up attacks on polling stations and “increased the public executions of those working with Somali security forces and AMISOM staff.”

Officials and analysts say the armed group is taking advantage of the numerous economic, political and security challenges facing Somalia. According to the United Nations, about 2.6 million people in 66 of the country’s 74 districts are affected by the drought. On Tuesday, Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Robelle called on A.J. Emergency And appealed to the international community for increased humanitarian assistance.

Somalia in the Horn of Africa has also been plagued by large-scale desert locust infestations and persistent coronavirus pandemics.

Moreover, political leaders continue to argue over the drawn, hard-fought elections. The general election, scheduled for earlier this year, was delayed after President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohamed called for an extension of his rule, which was seized by the opposition. As voting for MPs began in recent weeks, many observers have drawn attention to allegations of vote-buying and manipulation in the process.

Many Somalis fear a possible exit from the African Union peacekeeping force, whose mandate expires on December 31. While the mission is expected to continue in some form, there will be a significant reduction in troop numbers after the early withdrawal of US troops. This year, Shabab could take over the country, Somali officials and security analysts say. Despite years of foreign funding and training, experts believe that Somalia’s own security forces are not fully capable of stabilizing the country or protecting its people.

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“Somalia is at a critical juncture right now,” said Omar. Mahmoud, a senior Somali analyst at the International Crisis Group, said.

“Al Shabaab has always been opportunistic in its violence, especially when political actors are either distracted or consumed by internal strife,” he said. “In that sense, it is time for the movement, especially in Mogadishu, to step up its attacks.”

Hussein Mohammed contributed to the report from Mogadishu, Somalia.

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