At least 10 people were killed and others were wounded, including an army division commander and a commander of a special force, on Friday, in a suicide bombing in front of a football stadium in central Somalia.
A Somali security source said that a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt detonated himself in front of Abdullah Issa football stadium in the city of Galcaio, in the center of the country.
The source added that the attack took place while security personnel were searching Somalis, who were entering the stadium to listen to a speech by Prime Minister Muhammad Husayn Rubli.
According to the source, among the dead were the commander of the 21st Division of the Somali army, Abdullah Abdi Goji, the commander of the Special Security Forces, Mukhtar Abdi Adam, as well as the former mayor of the Mudug region (center), Yasin Tome.
For his part, a source in the Prime Minister’s Office said, “The bombing took place before the prime minister’s arrival to the stadium, where he was supposed to address a public gathering.”
According to local media, the bombing also coincided with the prime minister’s visit to the federal states of Puntland and Galmudug, as part of his government’s efforts to resolve differences between federal states and the central government over the elections to be held before mid-February.
For its part, the armed youth movement claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to what was reported by sites close to it.
In a related context, the Somali authorities announced today, Friday, the killing of 16 members of the Al-Shabaab movement in Somalia, following a government security operation in the south of the country.
Arab Tagh Ahmed, commander of the 16th Division of the Special Forces of the Thunderbolt (DNAB), said in a statement to Voice of the Army, that “16 al-Shabaab fighters, including 3 commanders, were killed in an operation in the city of Jamami, in Lower Shabelle region (south), while 6 others were arrested.”
He explained that this came within the framework of an operation launched by the Special Security Forces to defeat the remnants of Al-Shabab fighters in the city of Jamami, stressing that strongholds of Al-Shabaab fighters (in the city) were destroyed during the operation.
Somalia has been fighting a war for years against Al-Shabaab, which was founded in early 2004, and is an armed movement that intellectually affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and has adopted many armed attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives.