Blasts shatter calm in Somali capital; 19 dead
By From Wire Reports
Published: Sunday, April 14, 2013, 8:12 p.m.
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Nineteen people were killed in the Somali capital on Sunday in a two-hour attack by al Shabaab terrorists, breaking a fragile return to peace in Mogadishu and underscoring the fact that the weakened al Qaida-allied militia has not yet been beaten.
The first of three bombs exploded just before noon outside the Mogadishu courthouse. Witnesses said attackers dressed in Somali military uniform stormed the buildings and opened fire.
Ugandan troops — part of the African Union force stationed in Mogadishu — arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting started, the BBC reported. As the forces fought to contain the terrorists, several lawyers, court officers and bystanders died in the gunbattle, sources in Mogadishu told The Christian Science Monitor.
“Armed men entered the court, and then we heard a blast. Then they started opening fire,” witness Hussein Ali, who works at the courts, told Reuters.
A second bomb was detonated during the firefight, the Monitor reported.
The Somali government said that nine gunmen had been involved in the assault, and all were killed. Six of them detonated suicide vests, it said.
Reuters reporters counted 16 bodies around the courts compound, some of them in uniform, some not, but it was not clear how many of them were government soldiers, attackers or civilians.
Later, a bomb exploded near an African Union and Turkish Red Crescent convoy near the airport, killing three, including two Turkish aid workers and the attacker.
Al Shabaab said it carried out the attacks, according to the Associated Press.
The violence is the worst in the city since al Shabaab was pushed out of the city by African Union and Somali forces in August 2011.
“These attacks appear to have been coordinated and well-planned,” a political source close to the Somali government told the Monitor. “It seems clear that they wanted to target symbols of Somalia's political and judicial progress in the past year, and thought that killing lawyers and court officials would appeal to people they think still support them.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Indian court upholds anti-gay law
- Sign-language ‘interpreter’ pulls off fraud on world stage
- Chinese drink pesticide in protest
- U.S. dire on full pullout from Afghanistan if deal not signed
- U.S. suspends nonlethal aid to Syrian opposition
- Nukes an ‘equalizer’ to conventional U.S. attacks
- Egypt strikes a perilous repose
- Bali summit yields global trade deal
- Becoming extra wife is fantasy in Kazakhstan
- France bound by role in Africa
- Central African leader says he lacks control of ex-allies