Thursday, March 23, 2023

Several people killed in attack on Turkish company in Somalia | Al-Shabab News

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Al-Shabab claims responsibility for the explosion near the Somali capital Mogadishu which killed at least five people and injured 14.

A suicide bombing near the Somali capital of Mogadishu killed at least five people, including two Turks, the Turkish health minister said.

Abdiasis Abu Musab, spokesman for the al-Shabab military operation linked to al-Qaeda, said the armed group was behind the attack on Saturday.

The Somali-based group often targets the Somali capital Mogadishu with suicide bombings and other attacks, and has detonated bombs against the Turkish military and other targets in the past.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that 14 people, including three Turks, were injured and are being treated at a hospital in Mogadishu named in honor of the Turkish president. He did not give the nationality of the three other deceased persons.

“We strongly condemn this heinous attack targeting the employees of a Turkish company which has undertaken the construction of the Mogadishu-Afgoye road and contributes to the development and prosperity of Somalia,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Turkish security sources said the suicide attacker used a motorcycle. They said the attack took place 15 km (8 miles) from a Turkish military base, which was not affected. The base is Turkey’s largest military installation abroad.

Somali government officials did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. The attack occurred outside the capital, Mogadishu, according to residents of the blast area.

Turkish-Somali relations

Turkey has been a key source of aid to Somalia after a famine in 2011 as Ankara seeks to increase its influence in the Horn of Africa to counter Gulf rivals such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates .

Last January, Somalia’s al-Shabab took responsibility for a car bomb that injured at least 15 people in Afgoye, the injured including Turkish contractors as well as Somali nationals.

A group of Turkish engineers were also among those affected in late December 2019 when an explosion at a checkpoint in Mogadishu killed at least 90 people.

In recent years, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has become a close ally of the Somali government.

Ankara has built schools, hospitals and infrastructure and offered scholarships for Somalis to study in Turkey. In 2017, Turkey opened its largest overseas military base in Mogadishu.

However, this alliance has placed Somalia at the center of a regional struggle between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on one side and Turkey-backed Qatar on the other.

Al-Shabab frequently carries out bombings in an attempt to undermine Somalia’s central government, which is backed by United Nations and African Union peacekeeping troops.


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