Somalia’s leader says at least 100 killed in Saturday attack
AMID the renewed fighting in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for two attacks that have killed at least 100 people.
In a statement released on Saturday, Al-Qaeda linked group Al-Shabaab said the second attack was carried out in an area known as al-Tahrir Square in Mogadishu just before midnight on Saturday by fighters in two cars who were trying to burn down the mosque where they are based.
The group said it had targeted the mosque in an attack and killed more than 100 people and injured others.
Witnesses said some of the dead included children.
The group has claimed responsibility for an attack in Mogadishu that killed at least 15 people on Wednesday.
In the latest attack, its statement said the attackers had also targeted the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the al-Homa Mosque. Al-Shabaab, a hard-line Islamist group based in eastern Somalia, has been active in the capital and in other parts of the country for the past six years, but until last week, it was not clear how it operated.
“It is the decision of al-Shabaab to respond to the repeated attempts made by the Ethiopian regime and their allies to impose a puppet regime in our Somalia,” said the statement, signed by Al-Shabaab leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. “We will continue to eliminate the criminal Ethiopian occupation forces and their allies in their own land.”
“Mogadishu is a war theatre, and Al-Shabaab will not tolerate any criminal action against the religious, social and political institutions that have been established in a successful and peaceful manner over the years under the leadership of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed,” the statement said, in the most detailed response so far to attacks by Al-Shabaab on the capital that have killed hundreds of people