Somali Leaders Condemn Suicide Bomb Attacks As Death Toll Hits 15


Mogadishu, Oct 4 (IANS) Somali leaders have condemned the twin suicide bomb blasts in the central Somali town of Beledwyene where at least 15 people were killed and 26 others wounded.

In separate statements on Monday, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre directed security agencies to step up anti-terrorism measures to ensure security in the country, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mohamud also sent his condolences to the families and relatives of the Somali citizens who lost their lives in the blasts that targeted local officials at Lamagalay base which is HirShabelle regional administration headquarters. He wished the wounded quick recovery and directed the government to provide immediate medical assistance to those whose health conditions are critical.

The President's statement came as the death toll rose to 15 in the twin suicide bombs that rocked Beledweyne local administration premises, the interim administrative town of Hirshabelle state in central Somalia. The police and witnesses who declined to be named said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded are in critical condition.

'The first explosion was a car laden with explosives driven by a suicide bomber that hit the first security gate of the presidential buildings, followed by another blast loaded on a truck not much far from the residential home of Hirshabelle state Vice-President inside Lamagalaay compound, 'Ali Jeyte Osman, Governor of Hiran region told journalists.

'Their brutal acts will never distract us from rising against them,' he added and vowed to step up anti-terror operations in the region.

HirShabelle, Health Minister and Deputy Governor for the Hiiraan region, were among those killed in the attack which has also been condemned by the UN.

In his statement, the Prime Minister who chaired an emergency security meeting following the blasts condemned the attacks which he said are aimed at derailing efforts to pacify Somalia.

'This attack is a proof of how the terrorist groups are still hungry for the bloodshed of the Somali people, and they want to discourage the people who stood up for their lives. The blood of our precious people that they shed every day will not be spared,' Abdi said.

The latest attacks came barely two days after the killing of senior al-Shabab leader Abdullahi Nadir by government and international partner forces on Saturday during an operation in the Middle Juba region.

The government forces have conducted several operations in Beledweyne in recent days against the al-Shabab terror group, liberating more than 40 villages and killing more than 200 militants.




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