Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Somali rebel grenade strikes kill two in capital

09 November 2011, 16:40

Mogadishu - Somalia's al Qaeda-linked rebels killed at least two people in a series of grenade attacks late on Tuesday in Mogadishu, and warned they would step up assaults in the capital.

The strikes highlighted the ease at which al Shabaab militants are able to infiltrate the heart of the coastal city, which is meant to be under the control of government soldiers and an African Union force (AMISOM).

"A grenade was hurled at the busy Howlwadag road last night, killing two people and injuring nine others, including soldiers," said ambulance coordinator Ali Musa, referring to the attack on a street through the city's main Bakara Market.

Al Shabaab claimed to have killed 15 government soldiers in four separate attacks. Twelve were killed as they patrolled the Howlwadag road, the rebels said. Other targets included the house of a former justice minister and a prominent local elder.

In a chilling warning, the militants, who are bracing for battle with Kenyan forces in southern Somalia, said Tuesday's grenades were "just an introduction".

"We are planning more serious attacks inside the capital, Mogadishu," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, an al Shabaab spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.

The militants pulled most of their fighters out of Mogadishu, epicentre of their almost five-year insurgency, in August amid reports of internal divisions and funding shortages.

Since then, the AMISOM peacekeeping force and government forces have been flushing remnant insurgent fighters from capital's outlying districts.

In a shift from more conventional street warfare, al Shabaab has increasingly resorted to suicide attacks and guerilla-style tactics. They claimed responsibility for an Oct. 4 suicide truck bomb which killed more than 70 people.

The United Nations estimates 98 percent of the capital is under the government's control -- the most since the overthrow of a dictator in 1991 threw the Horn of Africa country into conflict and left much of Mogadishu in the hands of warlords.

But AMISOM said the task of securing the entire city had been made more difficult by insufficient troop numbers and the insurgents melting into the population.

"We know the fighters are still hiding among the population, Paddy Ankunda, AMISOM spokesman, told Reuters. "It is the work of the government to do house-to-house inspections to capture the al Shabaab remnants."

"The troops we have are not sufficient to secure the entire capital and its liberated areas," Ankunda said.

Fighting to impose a harsh version of sharia law on the nation, al Shabaab is also readying to wage battle with troops from Kenya, which sent its forces across the border to crush the militants more than three weeks ago.

Mogadishu residents feared a recent improvement in security in the capital would be reversed in the months ahead.

"It seems (the government) will never control the grenades and other explosions," said Hassan Abdulle, who recently returned to live in the city.

Join in the conversation on News24 Kenya’s Facebook page.

Get the latest news by following us on Twitter.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...