Tuesday, September 22, 2015
MOGADISHU (HOL) ----The death toll from a suicide car bomb attack on the Somalia’s presidential palace has risen to at least 10, officials say Monday with the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group vowed more attacks against the government and African Union forces.
The suicide car bomber from the Al-Shabab group has detonated his explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of the hilltop presidential palace, killing soldiers, foreigners and civilian pedestrians who were walking along the toll road at the time of the attack.
Ahmed Ali, a witness who visited the blast scene said the explosion has largely ripped off the palace’s front checkpoints and the outer walls protecting the nearby SYL hotel which has seen a similar attack few months ago.
Sheikh Abdiaziz Abumusab, the Al-Shabab military spokesman who spoke to the group’s run radio has described the deadly attacks as ‘just beginning, vowing more attacks against the government.
The United Nations envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay has condemned the attack, saying the ‘barbaric’ act of terrorism is an attempt to undermine the political progress as Somalia’s information minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir described the attack as ‘ferocious’ attack he said aimed at derailing peace efforts and the restoration stability and order to the long-chaotic horn of Africa nation.
The attack comes as leaders from Somalia’s regional states and Somalia’s central government officials have concluded a two day-long consultative forum discussing about the country’s upcoming elections scheduled in 2016.
UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay addressing at the consultative meeting
The UN Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, says the talks are the beginning of a process that he said is critically important to Somalia’s peace building and state building efforts.
“A process that will lead to and enable a political transition when the mandates of the Somali executive and legislature end next year.” He said in a statement issued on Monday evening.
“I am especially delighted the progress has been achieved on International Peace Day. I salute the efforts of the Federal Government, Federal Parliament and the leaders of Puntland, Jubbaland, the ISWA and Galmudug. Today they were united for peace,” added Kay.