Car bomb kills 6, wounds 14 at Somali meat market
A car bombing struck a meat market in central Somalia on Thursday, killing six people and wounding 14, local officials said, the third attack of the day in the volatile East African country.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack at the market in the town of Buloburde in Hiran region or the two earlier attacks on Thursday in the southern city of Dhusamareb, where no casualties were reported.
Somalia faced frequent attacks by the country’s al-Qaida affiliate, the militant group al-Shabab.
Buloburde Deputy Commissioner Jaliil Isse Foodey, told The Associated Press that three soldiers were among those killed at the market as they had tried to stop the suspicious car.
Foodey said that authorities believe a government base located near the market that’s the home of an army commander was the intended target.
On Saturday, an explosives-laden vehicle was detonated at a security checkpoint in the central city of Beledweyne, killing at least 18 people and wounding 40.
Somalia’s government last year launched “total war” on al-Shabab, which controls parts of rural central and southern Somalia and makes millions of dollars through “taxation” of residents and extortion of businesses.
The militant group numbers thousands of fighters and regularly carries out brazen attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and elsewhere, holding back recovery attempts from decades of conflict in Somalia.
Somalia has appealed to the U.N Security Council requesting a three-month pause in the scheduled withdrawal of African Union peacekeepers, citing the need for its troops to regroup.
Earlier, the U.N approved a resolution to have the mission support the Somalis until its forces take full responsibility for the country’s security at the end of 2024.