Monday, December 24, 2018 8:41 am
The UN has condemned “in the strongest possible terms” Saturday’s twin bombings in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, which claimed a number of lives.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, said that the attacks “signify another cowardly assault against the people of Somalia and their inherent right to live in peace and dignity”.
Haysom, who is also head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), in a statement, said no efforts should be spared in bringing the terrorists to justice.
“We urge the Somali authorities to spare no effort in fighting the agents of violent extremism who bear responsibility for this heinous crime,” he added.
No fewer than 20 people were reported to have died in the twin attacks, the responsibility for which was claimed by the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, according to UNSOM.
The first of the attacks occurred at a checkpoint near Mogadishu’s National Theatre.
Among the fatalities was a Somali journalist with the London-based Universal Television Network, while some soldiers were also said to have died.
Haysom also extended his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and wished the injured a full recovery.
NAN reports that Al-Shabab, which has carried out several attacks in Somalia and neighbouring countries, is fighting to topple the Somali government and wants to impose a strict version of Islamic law in the Horn of Africa country.
The group used to control most parts of the country, but since 2010, the fighters have been removed from most major towns and cities.
The U.S. military, which partners with Somali forces and a 20,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission, has increased air attacks against al-Shabab under the Trump administration.
At least 47 US strikes have been carried out this year.