Several Mogadishu Districts Shelled in Co-ordinated Attack Claimed by Al-Shabaab
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Last night a series of explosions rocked the Somali capital of Mogadishu as the city was host to heavy shelling by Al-Shabaab militants for the second night in a row.
Several districts which are known to host government headquarters and institutions were targeted in last night’s violent attack, such as the Bondhere, Hamarweyne, Shingani, Hodan and Waberi districts.
According to residents in the aforementioned districts most of the mortars fired targeted the areas near the presidential palace, the military headquarters “Villa Baidao” and Halane military base which serves as an AMISOM stronghold near Mogadishu’s airport.
One resident who lives in the vicinity of the presidential palace commented: “The shelling started about 9PM; it was terrifying as we could closely hear what sounded like mortars which were landing not too far away from our residence. The shelling lasted for about an hour after which it ceased.”
Al-Shabaab were quick to claim responsibility as its military spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Mus’ab in a statement said: “We have been attacking the enemy for two consecutive nights now inside Mogadishu.” This contradicts claims by some in the government who told residents not to worry as all that occurred was just due to “some explosive packages”, which was contrary to what the residents themselves reported.
According to several sources, Prime Minister Abdiweli demanded a clear explanation from the Somali intelligence & security services for last night’s occurrences, which he said was “unacceptable”.
The casualties of the attack still remain unknown or if Al-Shabaab hit their intended targets. In the aftermath of the attack, Somali security forces were said to have stormed different districts in Mogadishu including those bombarded and arrested numerous people on suspicion of having a hand in the attack.
On the other hand, Mogadishu’s mayor Mahmud Tarsan has repeatedly been calling for members of the newly formed cabinet to move out from fortified areas in Mogadishu and live in regular districts, which many deem as an impractical demand as Al-Shabaab could easily strike them in such areas.