Dual Car Bombs Rock Somali Capital
On Friday, two car bombs exploded in Mogadishu killing 27 people and injuring 20.
The attack was carried out by the Islamic militant group Al Shabaab. According to authorities, the first bomb was detonated after members of the group breached a checkpoint near the presidential palace. The second was detonated in front of a hotel located away from the palace. Authorities also stated that the five assailants were killed security forces. However, Al Shabeeb claims the perpetrators have yet to be subdued. Also, Al Shabaab claimed their attack took the lives of 15 soldiers but this could not be confirmed.
Al Shabaab, which has close ties to Al Qaeda, wants to overthrow the Somali government in order to institute stricter Islamic laws. Since the group began the terror campaign more than a decade ago, thousands of Somali civilians and hundreds of East African citizens have been killed. The group is reportedly demanding large sums of money from impoverished communities in exchange for safety. In these same communities, the terror group is recruiting children for their army.
In the past, Al-Shabab had control of Mogadishu and large parts of the Somali countryside. However a military campaign led by the African Union pushed the group out of major population centers. The capital is often the target of the groups terror attacks. The incidences occur frequently enough that two weeks ago the government issued a terror warning for the capital. That warning is still in effect.