Traders attempt to salvage their goods at the scene of a suicide bomb explosion at the Wadajir market in Madina district of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on February 19, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)
Mogadishu: A Somali police officer says a blast at a busy market in the western part of Somalia’s capital killed at least 15 people.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the powerful blast thought to be from a car bomb tore through shops and food stands in Mogadishu’s Madina district on Sunday.
He said the bomb also wounded more than 10 others and casualties may rise as many of the wounded victims suffered horrific wounds. Kawo Godey is a small but busy market with shops and food stands.
Ahmed Mohamed, a witness said he saw severed limbs and blood scattered across the market.
“Bodies were piled on top of each other.” he said by phone as ambulance sirens echoed from the background. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.
However, Somalia’s homegrown Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, often carry out such attacks. Despite being ousted from large parts of south and central Somalia, al-Shabab continues to carry out guerrilla attacks in this Horn of Africa nation.
An al-Shabab rebel commander denounced the country’s recent election of a new president and vowed to continue fighting the government, the first official comment from al-Shabab since the president’s election earlier this month.
In an audio message released by al-Shabab’s radio arm Today, Sheikh Hassan Yaqub, a senior commander of the extremist group, called Somalia’s new president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed an “apostate” and warned Somalis against supporting him. Mohamed, who holds both Somali and US citizenship, was elected February 8.
The al-Shabab leader also referred the new president as “evil-minded,” recalling his eight-month tenure as the prime minister of Somalia in 2010 and 2011, during which the extremists lost control of Mogadishu, the capital.
“Remember how much harm he inflicted upon Muslims during his time as prime minister,” said Yaqub.