One day after executing dozens of non-Muslims at a quarry in Kenya, the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab waged an attack in its home base of Somalia — killing at least four people, according to police, in an attack on a United Nations convoy.
Three of those killed in Wednesday morning’s attack near Mogadishu’s airport were civilians and another was a security force member, Police Col. Mohamed Hassan said.
“I saw at least two dead bodies lying in a pool of blood on the ground, and police arrived soon at the area and began shooting in the air to disperse the crowds,” a witness named Sharma’arke said by phone from the scene.
A plume of black smoke could be seen rising from the airport, which also acts as a staging ground for United Nations operations and for the African Union troops on a peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
Two United Nations vehicles were damaged, a U.N. official said, but no U.N. staff members were killed or injured.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for what spokesman Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab called “a sacred bomb attack” targeting “foreign mercenaries and U.N. staff.” Abu Musab said this action had claimed the lives of “several Somali soldiers and foreigners working with U.N.,” but he did not specify a number of dead or their nationalities.
Such violence — in Somalia and carried out by Al-Shabaab — is hardly unprecedented.
Somalia’s Shebab Islamists on Tuesday massacred 36 quarry workers in a fresh attack in northeastern Kenya, with the group vowing to conduct more “uncompromising, relentless and ruthless” operations.
A group of around 20 fighters from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels raided a stone quarry near the town of Mandera in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Police and officials said they weeded out non-Muslims and shot them in the head, while some of the victims were also beheaded.
The attack came just over a week after the rebels executed 28 people who were grabbed from a bus travelling from Mandera, a border town located on the frontier between Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
The Daily Mail