Tagged: Somalia

You won’t believe what we saw in Mogadishu, Somalia [VIDEO]

(SGT REPORT) — by Jeff Berwick

While in Somalia, I participated in a sort of mini-documentary on the experience there with Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change.

We were only there for two days… and for good reason. It was probably the least comfortable place I’ve ever been, as bombs were going off regularly right around us and machine gun fire rang out through the night.

Luke is an unbelievably professional independent journalist and put this entire video together by himself, including filming all the footage.

I wouldn’t have believed one person could do so much in such a short period of time… but Luke’s been doing this for nearly two decades.

I think he really captured the story of what is going on in Somalia quite well.

You can see it here:[CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO]

Shabaab targets Somali police academy in suicide attack, killing 18 and wounding another 15

(THE LONG WAR JOURNAL) — By Bill Roggio and Caleb Weiss

Earlier today, a suicide bomber disguised as a Somali police officer infiltrated a police academy in Mogadishu and detonated his explosives near a group of officers. Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, claimed credit for the attack.

The suicide bomber entered the academy wearing a police uniform. According to Somali authorities, the bomber was not able to position himself within the middle of the group of officers who gathered to attend a parade, which aided in saving lives. However, the explosion killed at least 18 people and wounding at least another 15. Other reports have put the wounded number at 20.

Shortly after the attack, Shabaab claimed credit through its various media outlets. On its Shahada News website, it claimed its forces killed and wounded more than 60 police officers in the attack. On its Radio Al Andalus, it released an audio statement from its spokesman Abdul Aziz Abu Musab where he claimed Shabaab killed 29 police officers. Shabaab has often inflated casualty numbers in its claims of responsibilities.

Today’s suicide bombing is the first since Nov. 14 when a suicide car bomb rammed into an African Union convoy near Mogadishu. In October, Shabaab also conducted three coordinated bombings on a hotel in Mogadishu, killing dozens. Just two weeks prior to that assault, Shabaab perpetrated one of, if not the deadliest suicide car bombing in history when it killed over 500 people near a hotel also in Mogadishu.

The US military has stepped up the targeting of both Shabaab and the rival Islamic State in an effort to reduce attacks against the central government, security personnel, and civilians. So far this year, the US military has launched 28 airstrikes against Shabaab and four more against the Islamic State, US Africa Command told FDD’s Long War Journal earlier this week.

The last reported strike, which took place on Dec. 12, destroyed a Shabaab car bomb as it was being driven to Mogadishu. AFRICOM claimed that the car bomb posed “an imminent threat to the people of Mogadishu.”

The US military ramped up strikes against Shabaab and the Islamic State’s networks in Somalia at the end of March, after the Trump administration loosened the restrictions on the use of force against Shabaab. Both the Departments of Defense and State have noted that Shabaab has become more dangerous over the past year and has regained territory. Shabaab has killed hundreds of African Union and Somali forces while overrunning bases in southern Somalia and has maintained its safe havens while expanding areas under its control during 2016.

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Death toll for October Somalia attack rises to 512

(VOA) — The death toll in a truck bombing in Somalia in October now stands at 512, according to the committee investigating the tragedy.

The toll had been reported as 358. Even at the lower number, the bombing was the deadliest in Somalian history.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Somalian officials have blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group, which has been trying to overthrow the government and has deployed bomb attacks against government, military and civilian targets.

The committee, known as the Somali Emergency Operation Center, was established to investigate the October 14 bombing in Mogadishu. The government was to receive the report this week, but as of Saturday it had not commented.

In response to the October attack in Mogadishu’s Kilometre 5 neighborhood, the U.S. military expanded its operations against al-Shabab and increased the frequency of airstrikes targeting jihadist leaders.

The U.S. military now has more than 500 personnel in Somalia.

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Somalia bomb attacks: Death toll rises to 231 after huge blast in Mogadishu

(UK INDEPENDENT) — The death toll from the most powerful bomb blast witnessed in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has risen to 231 with more than 275 injured, a senator has said.

Police said a truck bomb exploded outside the Safari Hotel at the K5 intersection, which is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks, flattening buildings and setting vehicles on fire. A separate blast struck the Medina district two hours later.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed said the toll comes from doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu. Many of the bodies in hospital mortuaries have not yet been identified, he said.

It is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

More than 200 were injured in the explosion outside of the hotel and hospitals are struggling to cope with the high number of casualties.

Officials feared the death toll would continue to climb.

Many victims died at hospitals from their wounds, Police Captain Mohamed Hussein said.

The Red Cross said four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society are among the dead and warned “this figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing.”

Overnight, rescue workers with torch lights searched for survivors trapped under the rubble of the largely destroyed Safari Hotel, which is close to Somalia’s foreign ministry. The explosion blew off metal gates and blast walls erected outside the hotel.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared three days of mourning and joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. “I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate,” he said.

Angry protesters took to the streets in Mogadishu a day after the massive truck bomb attack.

Somalia’s government blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab extremist group for the attack it called a “national disaster.” However, al-Shabaab, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital with bombings, had yet to claim the attack.

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