12 Dead in Somalia After Revenge Car Bomb Attack, Official Says
The Somali militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed at least 12 people near Mogadishu, a local official says. Up to 30 people — most of them civilians — were injured in the incident, BBC reports.
The al-Qaeda-linked group claims its target was a convoy reportedly carrying a local governor, a group of American special forces and peacekeeping troops with the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). A spokesperson with the terrorist group told a freelance journalist in Mogadishu that four Americans were killed in the attack, including a “special forces commander.” Mashable has reached out to AMISOM for confirmation. A spokesperson at the Pentagon says she is aware of the reports and is looking into the incident.
Somali police official Hassan Ali said a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car next to a convoy of African Union forces moving near two minibuses. The attack was revenge for last week’s U.S. airstrike that killed the group’s leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, a spokesperson told Al Jazeera English. Somali officials had warned over the weekend that there was a probability of attacks.
— Mohamed Bashle (@maxamadbashle) September 8, 2014
“I saw two minibuses with pools of blood. Many civilians were killed. The explosion was enormous,” a witness, Ali Muhidin, told the AFP.
The attack happened on 20-mile road that runs from the militant stronghold of Afgoye to Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
Ali said the death toll may rise, as it remained unclear if there were any casualties among the African Union troops who are in the area to oust militants from their last strongholds.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.