Somali militants threaten more attacks after killing 30

Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:59pm EDT
 
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By Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali militants linked to al Qaeda warned on Monday of further attacks in the capital, a day after killing at least 30 people in a wave of coordinated bombings and shootings that exposed the fragility of security gains in Mogadishu.

African peacekeeping troops blocked streets and searched houses across the city at dawn to flush out suspected members of the Islamist militant group al Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the strikes.

But the rebels warned of more attacks and taunted the Mogadishu government, which they consider a Western stooge, over its trouble securing the city as Somalia struggles to emerge from more than two decades of conflict and anarchy.

Although a military offensive under an African Union peacekeeping banner has pushed al Shabaab from urban strongholds in central and southern Somalia, the attacks reinforced concerns the militants remain a potent force.

"Yesterday's blasts eliminated the dreams of the puppet government. More lethal attacks are coming," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's spokesman for military operations, told Reuters by telephone.

At least one car bomb exploded and several suicide bombers blew themselves up at Mogadishu's law courts on Sunday. Gunmen also stormed the court compound, spraying it with bullets. Two hours later, a car bomb was detonated near the city's fortified airport.

The U.N. Security Council condemned the attacks and said it was willing to "take action against those whose behavior threatens the peace, stability, or security of Somalia."

Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon said the attack would not stop the government's efforts to restore peace and security.   Continued...

 
A Somali girl and her brother run to safety near the scene of a blast in Mogadishu April 14, 2013. REUTERS/Feisal Omar