On Wednesday, twin bombings targeted Somalia’s military in central Somalia, killing at least 19 people and wounding several others. The attacks were claimed by radical Islamist group Al-Shabab and took place near a military base in the Mahas region.
According to Mohamed Moalim Adan, a commander of a local militia allied to the government, “Nineteen people, including members of the security forces and civilians, died in the explosions. The terrorists blew up two cars near a military base in Mahas.” Police reports state that the vehicles exploded in a neighborhood full of civilians shortly after the dawn prayer.
Witnesses have reported that several people were injured in the attack, including soldiers and journalists who were embedded with them. The Mahas region is currently at the center of a government offensive against Al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked group that has controlled parts of central and southern Somalia for years. The Somali army, with the support of local militias and the African Union’s mission ATMIS, recently opened a key supply route to Mahas after it had been under siege for an extended period of time.
In response to the bombings, Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud reaffirmed his commitment to the ongoing offensive against Al-Shabab, stating that his government will continue to wage “total war” against the extremist group.
These devastating bombings serve as a reminder of the ongoing conflict and instability in Somalia, as well as the persistent threat posed by Al-Shabab. Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families, as well as to the people of Somalia who continue to live under the shadow of violence and terrorism.
Somalia has been embroiled in conflict for decades, with various factions vying for power and control over the country’s resources. The most recent round of violence began in the early 1990s, when the government of President Siad Barre collapsed and the country descended into civil war. Since then, Somalia has been wracked by fighting between rival factions, as well as by the intervention of outside powers such as the United States and Ethiopia.
One of the main drivers of the conflict in Somalia has been the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabab, which has sought to impose its extreme interpretation of Islamic law on the country. Al-Shabab, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, has been responsible for numerous attacks on civilians and government targets, including the twin bombings in central Somalia that killed 19 people and wounded several others on Wednesday.
In recent years, the Somali government, with the support of the African Union and other international partners, has been trying to push back against Al-Shabab and establish control over the country. However, the conflict remains ongoing, with both sides suffering heavy losses and civilians caught in the crossfire. Despite efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, Somalia remains one of the most volatile and unstable countries in the world, and the fighting is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.