(Mogadishu) At least five people were killed and 11 others injured, including a governor, in a suicide bombing in southwestern Somalia on Tuesday, a police commander said.
The Shebab, a jihadist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda and which regularly commits suicide attacks in this poor and unstable country in the Horn of Africa, claimed responsibility for the attack.
An explosive-laden vehicle rammed a guesthouse in Bardera where government officials were staying, said Hussein Adan, police commander in the town in the Gedo region, 450 kilometers west of the capital Mogadishu. .
Among those officials were Gedo Governor Ahmed Bulle Gared and several military commanders, he added.
“The explosion destroyed most of the building and five security guards were killed,” Adan continued, adding that 11 other people were injured, including the governor, without giving further details on the severity of the injuries.
“We never heard anything as big as the explosion this morning, it shook the earth like an earthquake,” said Mohamud Saney, a witness.
Shebab rebels have been fighting the federal government supported by the international community since 2007. Driven out of the main cities of the country in 2011-2012, they remain firmly established in vast rural areas.
President Hassan Cheikh Mohamoud, who returned to power in May 2022, promised them “total war”.
But the Shebab continue to carry out bloody attacks in retaliation, showing their ability to strike at the heart of Somali cities and military installations.
On October 29, 2022, two car bombs exploded in Mogadishu, killing 121 people and injuring 333, the deadliest attack in five years in this country also affected by a historic drought.
Last month, the UN said 2022 was the deadliest year for civilians since 2017 in Somalia.