• Tuesday, 21 May 2024
The death toll from Somalia bombings has risen to 30.

The death toll from Somalia bombings has risen to 30.

According to a local official, the death toll from a triple bombing by the Islamist group Al-Shabaab in central Somalia earlier this week has risen to at least 30.

Three cars packed with explosives were detonated in Beledweyne, a city at the heart of recent offensives against Al-Qaeda-linked militants who control large swaths of Somalia, injuring another 58 people.

"We have confirmed that thirty people were killed in the recent attack," Ali Jeyte Osman, governor of the Hiraan region, which includes Beledweyne, said on Wednesday.

The Hirshabelle state health minister and a deputy district commissioner were among those killed when suicide bombers targeted local government offices in the city.

Witnesses described massive damage in the aftermath of the Al-Shabaab attacks, which have been waging a bloody insurgency against the central government for 15 years.

Somalia's newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud condemned the attack, which came as national forces waged an aggressive counterinsurgency campaign against the Al-Qaeda affiliate, backed by local militias and international allies.

Last month, Mohamud urged citizens to avoid areas controlled by Al-Shabaab as government forces backed by local clan militias launched offensives in Hiraan.

However, Hiraan Governor Osman stated that negligence played a role in the devastating attack in Beledweyne and called for police and intelligence officials to be held accountable.

"Someone has to accept responsibility. The three people who carried out the attacks crossed the bridge into town "He stated.

"So far, no one has been arrested in connection with this crime... I request that the Somali government investigate the two commanders of the region's police and intelligence agencies."

Despite multinational efforts to weaken its leadership, Al-Shabaab remains a potent force.

The US confirmed on Monday that it carried out an air strike on October 1 that killed an Al-Shabaab leader. The government had just announced the death of the group's number-three operative in a targeted strike on the same day, just hours before.

The group's fighters were driven out of Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, in 2011, but they continue to carry out attacks on military, government, and civilian targets.

Last week, the group claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed a top Somali police officer near the Al-Shabaab-controlled village of Bursa, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Mogadishu.

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