Al-Shabab targets Somalia officials in deadly attack

BARDERE, Somalia (Caasimada Online) – At least five people were killed, and eleven others, including a regional governor, were injured in a suicide bombing by Al-Shabab in southern Somalia on Tuesday.

The attack took place at a guest house in Bardera, 450 kilometers west of the capital Mogadishu, where government officials were meeting.

The attacker, driving a vehicle filled with explosives, ploughed into the building, causing extensive damage. The explosion killed five security guards on duty at the time of the attack.

Area police commander, Hussein Adan, confirmed the details of the attack, “The explosion destroyed most parts of the building, and five security guards died in the blast.”

He added that the governor, Ahmed Bulle Gared, was among the eleven injured in the attack.

Al-Shabab claims responsibility 

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday.

In a telegram post, the group said a bomber drove a suicide car bomb into a building where regional officials were meeting to plan anti-Al-Shabab mobilisation.

The group has been waging an insurgency against the central government of Somalia for the last 15 years.

Although it has been forced out of Mogadishu and other main urban centers, the group remains entrenched in parts of rural central and southern Somalia.

Despite recent gains made by the Somali army and local clan militias in retaking chunks of territory from the militants, the group has continued to demonstrate its ability to strike back with lethal force against civilian and military targets.

Al-Shabab insurgency continues 

In October, 121 people were killed in two car bomb explosions at the education ministry in Mogadishu, the deadliest Al-Shabaab attack since the offensive was launched last year.

According to the United Nations, 2022 was the deadliest year for civilians in Somalia since 2017, mainly due to increased mass-casualty attacks by the jihadist group.

The African Union force, known as AMISOM, and the US military has been supporting the Somali army in their efforts to degrade the leadership of Al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab has been carrying out a series of attacks in recent months targeting towns, clan elders, and local militia commanders involved in mobilisations against the group.

The group has been responding to community-level rallies supporting the federal government forces.

On February 21, the group launched an attack on a care home in Mogadishu that housed pro-government troops, resulting in the deaths of ten individuals.

On March 7, the group conducted a sophisticated attack on a military base in Janaa Cabdalle, 60 kilometers west of Kismayo, killing at least five soldiers.

The bottom line 

The Horn of Africa remains a troubled region due to various conflicts, including the insurgency by Al-Shabab.

The international community has been supporting Somalia to achieve lasting peace. However, the situation on the ground remains challenging.

The recent attack in Bardera is a reminder of the ongoing threat posed by the militant group and the need for continued efforts to combat it.