AU condemns Al-Shabaab attack on market

MOGADISHU/KABUL. – The African Union envoy in Somalia yesterday condemned the Thursday evening terror attack on a market in a Mogadishu suburb that left at least seven people dead and over 10 others injured. Francisco Caetano Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, also lauded efforts by the Somalia security forces in dismantling terror cells in the Horn of Africa nation.

“It is unfortunate that Al-Shabaab continues to kill and maim the very people it claims to defend,” Madeira said in a statement.

A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) exploded at Hamarweyne market. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but Al-Shabaab is often behind such deadly assaults targeting government and African Union mission (AMISOM) bases.

The AU envoy pledged AMISOM’s continued support to the government in the war against violent extremism and terrorism. In a separate development, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Shiite mosque in Kabul yesterday, police said, as Muslims prepare to celebrate one of the holiest dates in the Islamic calendar.

“A suicide bomber who was grazing sheep has detonated himself outside” the mosque, General Salim Almas, criminal investigative director of Kabul city, told AFP.

Almas did not have any information about casualties but a photo posted on Twitter, purportedly taken at the scene of the attack, shows a man lying on the ground, covered in blood. The explosion happened as worshippers were leaving a Shiite mosque in the north of the city after Friday prayers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Taliban and Islamic State jihadists, who belong to the rival Sunni branch of Islam, have repeatedly targeted the minority Shiite community in recent years. – Xinhua/AFP/HR.

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