Somali markets targeted in Shabaab explosions | longwarjournal.org

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Sunday May 13, 2018 - 10:09:31 in News In English
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    Somali markets targeted in Shabaab explosions | longwarjournal.org

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Over the past week, al Qaeda’s East African wing, Shabaab, targeted two markets in southern Somalia with deadly explosions. At least 14 civilians were killed in the attacks.

On Wednesday, a suicide bomberdetonated his explosives at a khat market in Wanlaweyn, a town 50 miles west of the capital city of Mogadishu. At least 10 civilians were reportedly killed and many others wounded. While today in Bulomarer, 90 miles south of Mogadishu, an improvised explosive device (IED)detonated at a livestock marketinside the town. At least four people were reportedly killed in that explosion and five others were left wounded.

Targeting markets or other civilian infrastructure is a common tactic of Shabaab. Last February, a Shabaabsuicide car bomb targeted a busy market in Mogadishu, killing almost 40 civilians.

Additionally, Shabaab also claimed responsibility forfiring several rockets at the Turkish military baseinside Mogadishu. Thirteen rockets were reportedly fired at the base, however, no material damage or injuries were reported. Abdul Aziz Abdul Musab, Shabaab’s military spokesman, released a statement about the incident, saying "we do not distinguish between a Turkish, American, Kenyan, Ethiopian, or British soldier, as all of them are invaders fighting against the Shari’ah, and it is an obligation to expel them and kill them.”

The market attacks came just a week after Shabaabkilled at least nine Kenyan soldiers in an IEDblast near the Somali-Kenyan border. As a Kenyan military vehicle traveled to a military base in Somalia’s southern Jubaland region, it was destroyed in a blast amid an IED ambush. A week prior, seven Somali soldierswere killed in another IED attack nearthe same area as the Kenyan troops.

Shabaab has been resurgent in Somalia since losing ground to a combined African Union (AU) and Somali offensive in 2011. The jihadist group has slowly but methodically retakenseveral towns and villagesthat it lost in both central and southern Somalia –often after AU or Somali forces withdrew. In addition, Shabaab remains a potent threat against both African Union and Somali military bases in central and southern Somalia. The al Qaeda branch also remains a serious danger inside northern Kenya, where it has undertaken several assaults and improvised explosive device attacks andeven increased its operational tempo therelast year.




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