Monday, April 15, 2013
Al-Shabaab's top spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Raghe alias
Sheikh Ali Dhere said Monday that his radical Somali Islamist group was
responsible for the deadly bombing attacks in Mogadishu on Sunday.
The hardliner cleric stated that five specially trained fighters were behind th assault on the Dhismaha Maxkamadaha (Courts building) in Mogadishu’s old-town district of Hamarweyne.
“The mujahedeen (holy warriors) killed 27 and wounded 60,” declared Sheikh Ali Dhere. “The fighters carried out Qaswatu Hasmi Dawaqeed (Crusade to eliminate those against Allah’s laws).”
The announcement came after about half a dozen
Al-Shabaab militants attacked the vast two-storey courts building that
lies next Mogadishu’s municipal offices.
Hospital records indicate that 23 people died
including lawyers, court officials, security guards plus the attackers
themselves. Officials at Madina hospital, the largest referral facility
for casualties of violence in Mogadishu, stated that they received up to
42 wounded victims.
News agency AFP reports that up to 34 have so far died.
The dead included two lawyers who in February and
March successfully defended a woman who claimed to have been raped by
five men in police uniform and a journalist who interviewed her, and who
was accused of defaming the police.
Officials who escaped unhurt or were rescued from
the zone included the Chief Judge of Somalia’s Supreme Court, Abdullahi
Aideed Ilakahanaf, the Prime Judge of the Appeal Court as well as the
Chairman of the Banadir regional court and the Chief Prosecutor.
The Al-Shabaab spokesman, whose movement opposes
all conventional non-Islamic legal systems, underlined that the place
(courts) the militants attacked was being used for laws against Sharia.
The incident on Sunday was one of the deadliest
carried out by fanatical Islamists since Al-Shabaab fighters withdrew
from positions in Mogadishu nearly two years ago.
Meanwhile, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud
convened a special meeting of the National Security Council on Sunday
night. “My government is going to take more serious steps against
Al-Shabaab,” declared the President at the end of the meeting.
“We are moving forward but the enemy of Somalia,
the enemy of all mankind will attempt to set us back and try to prevent
us from prospering. I want the terrorists to know that our country is
moving and will keep moving forward and will not be prevented to achieve
the ultimate noble goal of a peaceful and stable Somalia by a few
desperate terrorists," President Mahamoud vowed.
He pleaded for more public as well as
international support to combat the terror movement which he noted had
been militarily weakened and was now falling back on terror tactics.