Somalia: Al-Shabab suicide bombing kills scores of regional officials, incl. governor
In Somalia, at least 5 people have been killed and 11 wounded, including a governor, in a suicide bombing in Bardhere in the southwestern Gedo region on Tuesday March 14.The al-Shabab militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.
“A suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden vehicle into a guesthouse in Bardera where government officials were staying,” said Hussein Adan, a police commander in the town that is located about 450 kilometers west of the capital Mogadishu. Those killed included several military commanders and the regional governor Ahmed Bulle Gared. The al-Qaeda affiliated group that regularly carries out suicide bombings in the poor and volatile Horn of Africa country said in a Telegram post that a bomber drove a suicide car bomb into a building where regional officials were meeting to plan anti-al-Shabab mobilization.
The rebel group has been fighting the internationally backed federal government since 2007. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, who returned to power in May 2022, has promised them “total war“. Pushed out of the country’s main cities ten years ago, al-Shababb still remains firmly entrenched in large rural areas and continues to carry out bloody attacks in retaliation.
Experts say the group seeks to demonstrate its ability to strike at the heart of Somali cities and military installations. On February 21, al-Shabab militants raided a Mogadishu care home for members of the pro-government forces, killing ten people. Some three weeks later, the group carried a complex attack on a military base, killing at least five soldiers.