Somalia reels from the latest deadly bombing
The al-Shabab militant group has been blamed for Somalia’s deadliest terror attack in more than two years.
Here is today’s Foreign Policy brief: Somalia grapples with its worst terror attack in two years, the United States conducts airstrikes against an Iran-backed militia in Iraq and Syria, and North Korea holds a high-level party meeting as its year-end deadline for nuclear talks approaches.
A truck bomb killed at least 79 people on Saturday in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia—the country’s deadliest terror attack in more than two years. The bombing struck a busy security checkpoint during rush hour and targeted a tax collection center. While no one has claimed responsibility, the attack has been blamed on al-Shabab, the local Islamist group that targets the U.N.-backed government. The group is assumed to have carried out a double truck bombing that killed nearly 600 people in Mogadishu in 2017.
On Sunday, 10 people badly wounded by the blast were evacuated to Turkey, which has been a leader in aid to Somalia since 2011. At least two Turkish nationals were killed in the attack. The U.S. military conducted three airstrikes on Sunday against al-Shabab militants in Somalia in coordination with the government, killing four people. The group has been increasingly targeted by U.S. airstrikes in recent years.
Still a threat. Despite the U.S. airstrikes and losses in territory, al-Shabab has remained a threat in Somalia through racketeering and infiltrating state institutions, the New York Times reports. The weekend attack shows that the weak government is still struggling to build a strong security apparatus, even with support and training from the African Union, the United Nations, the United States, and Turkey.
In January, Amanda Sperber reported for FP on the threat of al-Shabab in East Africa.
Source: Foreign Policy