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5 Suicide Bomb Attacks Hit Somalia

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October 30, 2008

5 Suicide Bomb Attacks Hit Somalia



MOGADISHU, Somalia — Five suicide car bomb attacks rocked a presidential palace, government security posts, United Nations offices and an Ethiopian consular unit in two regions of northern Somalia on Wednesday, killing or wounding dozens of people, according to officials and witnesses.


Five suicide car bomb attackers struck within half an hour in the two regions, in Hargeisa, the capital of breakaway Somaliland, and in Bosasso, in Puntland, said Faisal Hayle, a security official in Mogadishu for the transitional government of Somalia.


Several buildings were leveled by the attacks. According to officials, the bombers struck between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., first attacking in Hargeisa, long considered the safest city in Somalia. They struck the presidential palace of Somaliland, an Ethiopian consulate office and a United Nations office.


In the port of Bosasso, two huge blasts rocked the city as suicide bombers attacked two offices of the Puntland security forces, killing a woman cleaner and injuring six soldiers, residents and officials said.


The Somaliland president, Mr. Dahr Riyale Kahin, who spoke to the BBC Somali service, said that his secretary and his adviser were killed in the attack on the palace and urged the people to collaborate with the police.


“We are very, very sorry for what happened,” he said, adding that Somalilanders’ “independence and existence has been attacked.” “I am telling you that the enemy is among you and you must pick them up,” he said


At least 20 people were killed and more than 30 others injured in the attacks in Hargeisa, according to officials and witnesses. Reuters quoted witnesses as saying the death toll from the two attacks totaled 28, and that at least 20 of the deaths occurred at the Ethiopian office in Hargeisa.


There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. Mr. Faisal blamed a militant Islamist group called the Shabab, which the United States considers a terrorist organization.


The Shabab has been waging a relentless war against Somalia’s weak transitional government, but most of its attacks have been confined to south-central Somalia. Hargeisa, in northern Somalia, had been considered an oasis of peace and stability.


The Somaliland government has been credited with setting up a small but functioning democracy, and providing a degree of peace and safety to more than a million people. It was in the middle of presidential and government elections.


Several United Nations agencies are based in Hargeisa.


Neighboring Puntland is a semi-autonomous area known increasingly as a center of piracy and kidnapping.


In a statement on Wednesday, the United Nations Development Program said a suicide bomber had entered its compound in Hargeisa and there were known casualties and deaths but the agency gave no precise figures.


The attack may have been timed to coincide with a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, between Somalia’s transitional leaders and foreign forces supporting them.


Militant Islamist groups were not invited to the talks and organizations like the Shabab have shunned the discussions. The militant group says it wants to turn Somalia into an Islamic state and has demanded the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops.


Ethiopian forces have been backing Somalia’s transitional government and have been one of the targets of previous suicide attacks claimed by the Shabab. Last year, there were several suicide attacks on Ethiopian-Somali government army bases, but a coordinated assault with five suicide attacks in a single day was unprecedented.


Witnesses in Hargeisa said that many of the buildings that had been hit were badly damaged and dozens of people had been killed or wounded.


At a news conference after the attacks, the Puntland president, Mohamoud Mose Hersi, blamed the bombings on terrorists seeking to jeopardize Puntland’s security.


“It was two shocking blasts that we haven’t seen before,” he said, accusing outsiders of carrying out the attacks. “We know their faces and they are not Puntlanders.”


The first bomb exploded at a security service intelligence office close to the presidential palace in Puntland, according to residents and officials. Two minutes later, another explosion hit the agency’s office in the Laanta Hawada neighborhood, killing one intelligence officer and injuring six.


Mohamoud Awale, a resident of Bosasso, said he saw a speeding car drive into one of the offices. “I was really very shocked, because I haven’t witnessed such a catastrophic event.” Mr. Awale said.


Hawa Mohamoud, a 40-year-old resident with four children, said: “When I heard the explosions, I realized that we were under attack. I don’t know where I can go with these children and it seems that our turn for the insecurity has come.”


Somaliland broke with Somalia in the early 1990s and Puntland declared itself semi-autonomous in 1998.


The Somaliland police were securing the streets of Hargeysa and government offices and other international organizations to prevent further attacks.


Residents in Hargeysa poured onto the streets, showing solidarity with the government, and chanting, “We support our sovereignty and unity,” according to Ifrah Nor, a resident.


Mohammed Ibrahim reported from Mogadishu, Somalia, and Jeffrey Gettleman from Nairobi, Kenya.


ny times

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“I am telling you that the enemy is among you and you must pick them up,”


Alot of innocent people are going to suffer...

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“We know their faces and they are not Puntlanders.”

Wixii xunba Xaawaa leh? So that means Shiikha shalay gurigiisa lagala baxay durbadiiba oo la dhaawacay haddana aan maqlayo inuu u dhintay dhaawicii was from Guriceel?


Waxaa la dhahayaa Warlords baa dhammaaday, adiga ma ahane waa xaaraanta aad boobeysid ee intaad dadka ka sii jeedisid dembiyadaada inaan dad layso u marmarsiiyoo.

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Originally posted by LIQAYE:

“I am telling you that the enemy is among you and you must pick them up,”


Alot of innocent people are going to suffer...

Riyaale's words shows he wants reprisals and chaos so that the elections are postponed. That NNS guy can kill. He did kill in Berbera in 1980s anyway.

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