MOGADISHU, Somalia – At least one person was killed in Somalia on Wednesday, reports indicate, following a massive explosion in the outskirts of Afgoye town, located 30 kilometers northwest of Mogadishu, the ever-busy Somali capital, which has been the center of Al-Shabaab attacks in the recent years.
Police reports indicate that a grenade was thrown to a livestock market on Wednesday by suspected Al-Shabaab militants, leading to the death of one person, in an incident which further questions the country’s preparedness in the fight against the militants, who have wreaked havoc in the Horn of Africa nation in the last decade.
Also, the bomb blast left four people seriously wounded among them two civilians and two soldiers, with reports indicating that the security officials were guarding the town when the misfortune struck, according to multiple eyewitnesses who were at the scene when the incident occurred.
For several years now, the Al-Shabaab militants have been targeting members of the security forces, senior government officials, those believed to be spies of the administration, and civilians according to reports submitted to the United Nations Security Council, the top most organ which is in charge of security in the world.
Police are yet to establish who the real targets were but multiple sources indicate that the explosion was targeting members of the Somali National Army [SNA]. For the last several months, the troops have been carrying out operations targeting the militants in central and southern Somalia.
The latest incident further raises doubts about the country’s ability to withstand frequent Al-Shabaab attacks, which reached a record high. There is pressure to have the Somali National Army [SNA] take care of the security situations in Somalia in the coming months when the African Union Mission troops formally quit from the country.
Recently, SNA announced victory against the militants, arguing that they had lost grounds in Lower Shebelle, a region that has been struggling with the attacks in recent months. The army said several militants had surrendered or killed in operations executed in recent weeks with a blessing from the US Africa Command.
Al-Shabaab has been fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed Somalia government, which has been in place for a couple of years. The militants, who still control large swathes of rural southern and central Somalia, have, however, considerably lost their backyard, following multiple successful operations.