Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Deadly car bombs hit Somaliland

(Waridaad)-At least 21 people have been killed in a wave of coordinated car-bombings across northern Somalia.

Most of the casualties were in Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland.

The presidential palace, Ethiopian embassy and UN offices were all targeted, leaving at least 19 dead.

Two suicide attackers also blew themselves up in the offices of the security services in the neighbouring region of Puntland, officials say.
The attacks took place in Puntland's economic capital, Bosasso.

"These were suicide attacks. Two car bombs destroyed two centres of the anti-terrorism unit. There are casualties but we have to investigate and we cannot give more information at the moment," Bile Mohamoud Qabowsade, an advisor to Puntland's president told the AFP news agency.


The presidents of Somaliland and Puntland have both condemned the attacks.
Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin says the government is ready to defend the country.

The BBC's Jamal Abdi in Hargeisa says 28 people with serious injuries are being treated at the main hospital.

Eight people were killed in the Ethiopian embassy, which is 50 metres from the BBC offices, our correpondent says.

One car managed to get into the basement of the heavily fortified UNDP office before the explosives were detonated.

Guards outside Somaliland's presidential palace opened fire on the attackers blocking it from entering the compound.

There is a lot of anxiety around the city and cars have been blocked from approaching the three locations.

There is no information about who was responsible for the three attacks, which took place within seven minutes of each other.

But some suspect Islamist insurgents, given the coordinated nature of the bombings and the targeting of Ethiopia.

The al-Shabaab group, which the US describes as a terrorist organisation, refuses to join peace talks until Ethiopian troops agree to leave Somalia.

Ethiopia helped forces of the interim government oust Islamists from the capital, Mogadishu in 2006 - since when Islamists have staged regular attacks in the city.

US ally

The bombings come as regional leaders meet in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, to discuss the ongoing crisis in Somalia and the performance of the transitional federal government.
These are the first suicide attacks in Somaliland and Puntland, which have escaped most of the instability seen in southern Somalia since the last effective national government was overthrown in 1991.

Somaliland is a US ally in the fight against Islamist militants.
On Tuesday, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin made a rare criticism of the Somali government.

"Somalia's problems are not security but political," Mr Seyoum said, blaming disputes between the country's leaders for the prolonged crisis.

The transitional federal charter, which was adopted in 2004, expires next year when a constitution is supposed to be drafted and elections held.


1 comment: said...

What type of persons in the name of Sharia stones another human a mother a sister.The 50 men who took part in that barbaric act of stoning the 23yr old lady should have their hands and a leg amputated without mercy.Not even wild animals behave this way. I am a black West Indian of African descent and I guess you will not publish my comments.You can email me and curse me....