Somali government spokesperson injured in suicide bombing – News

A witness said he saw ‘human body parts scattered around the area’



Representative picture

By AFP

Published: Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:15 PM

A Somali government spokesman was injured in an attack by the extremist group Al-Shabaab on Sunday, although his injuries were “not serious”, the prime minister’s office said.

Sunday’s attack, which al-Shabaab said was behind it, came after Somali leaders agreed this month to conclude parliamentary elections by February 25, following repeated delays. which threatened the stability of the troubled country.

More than a year of delays had deepened bitter tensions between Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known by his nickname Farmajo, amid fears their feuds could escalate into violence.

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“The Somali federal government spokesman was injured in a terrorist attack, his injuries are not serious and we wish him a speedy recovery,” the office said in a statement.

Multiple sources said the attacker, who was killed in the incident, attempted to get into the spokesperson’s car before detonating explosives, partially destroying the vehicle.

“A suicide bomber jumped on a vehicle carrying government spokesman Mohamed Ibrahim, he was lucky to have survived with minor injuries,” said a police officer present at the scene of the attack, Mohamed Farah.

“Two other people were injured in the explosion.”

Witnesses confirmed that the assailant leaned against the car before a loud explosion was heard.

A witness, Abdirahman Moalin Ali, said he saw “human body parts scattered around the area”.

Al-Shabaab quickly claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.

Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu has been spokesperson and adviser to the Prime Minister for more than a year, having previously been a BBC journalist and former secretary general of the National Union of Somali Journalists.

He survived multiple attacks on residences where he was staying, escaping unscathed from a 2019 attack on a property that was under siege for nearly 22 hours.

Farmajo, president since 2017, saw his term expire on February 8 last year and did not hold an election until announcing in April that he was extending his rule by two years – a decision that has caused controversy. armed unrest in the capital.

He eventually tasked Roble with organizing new polls, but a disagreement over the election process sparked a bitter power struggle between the two leaders.

Somalia saw further violence last week when al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb that killed at least four people in Mogadishu.

In December, Farmajo suspended Roble after appointing him in September 2002, leading Roble to speak of an “attempted coup” and the opposition to demand the president’s resignation.

The ongoing unrest has raised alarm bells in the international community, which fears an election stalemate could further undermine stability, bolstering al-Shabaab, whose fighters control large swaths of the country.

Following the decision to close the ballot by February 25, a new chairman of the electoral commission was elected on Saturday after his predecessor was sacked by Roble.

Under the Horn of Africa nation’s complex indirect electoral system, the five federal state assemblies and delegates chosen by clan delegates nominate the legislators of the national parliament, and they in turn choose the president.

Elections for the upper house have been completed in all states except the central state of Galmudug, and voting began in November in the lower house.

About Tammy N. McFarlane

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