A suicide bomber set off an explosives-laden vehicle at the entrances of a local government headquarters in Somalia while another bomber aimed a nearby marketplace, killing at least 17 people and injuring more than 30 others on Sunday.
Abdisalam Yusuf with the police said one bomber crashed the car into a checkpoint in Galkayo town Sunday morning after reaching the main gate of Puntland’s local administration.
Puntland, a partly-autonomous state in northern Somalia, runs the northern part of the town, while the southern part is ran by rival regional state Galmudug. Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, the Prime Minister of Somali condemned the double blasts, saying that “evil-doers” had aimed innocent civilians.
The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group has claimed responsibility for the blast. The town, unlike other sides of the country where al-Shabab carries on a deadly guerrilla campaign, hardly ever sees such attacks.
The city’s main hospital received more than 15 wounded people, with a few with terrible wounds. The blasts destroyed some of the bodies which discovered in nearby houses.
Al-Shabab is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s weak U.N.-backed government with the aim of establishing an Islamic emirate, ruled by a severe version of Shariah law. More than 22,000 mediators are deployed in Somalia in the multi-national African Union force. Al-Shabab opposes the attendance of foreign troops in the nation.
Ned Price, National Security Council spokesperson of White House, issued a statement strongly condemning the bomb blasts in Puntland, accusing the militants of attempting “to weaken Somalia ahead of its historic scheduled political transition this autumn.”
On next month, Somalia faces key parliamentary elections and in October, a presidential election. The country has been trying to reconstruct after establishing its first functioning central government since 1991.