Oct 03, 2022 13:58 UTC
  • Twin car bomb attacks kill 9 in Somali capital, including senior regional officials

Nine people, including senior regional officials, have been killed in two bomb attacks in Beledweyne in central Somalia, police officials said.

"The initial information we have received confirms the death of nine people" including state ministers and commissioners, Mohamed Moalim Ali, a local police commander, said on Monday.

According to Press TV, he added that at least 10 others were injured in the twin bomb attacks, which were claimed by al-Shabab terrorist group.

Moalim Ali said the casualties came after two cars loaded with explosives were detonated about five minutes apart outside district headquarters in Beledweyne.

According to police, the state's health minister and a deputy district commissioner were among the dead.

Beledweyne lies about 300 kilometers (200 miles) north of Somalia's capital Mogadishu.

Witnesses said a smaller blast was followed by a massive second explosion.

"The explosion was huge, and it destroyed most buildings" nearby, said Mohamud Addow, who witnessed the attack, adding, "I saw several people rushed to hospital and some dead bodies... some were unrecognizable."

Al-Shabab, which is a terrorist offshoot of al-Qaeda, has been fighting Somalia's government for 15 years.

“Top al-Shabab leader killed in joint operation”

In another development on Monday, the Somali government said a top al-Shabab terrorist, who had a $3.0-million US bounty on his head, has been killed in a joint airstrike in southern part of the country.

The Somali Ministry of Information said in a statement that the drone strike was launched by the army and international security partners on October 1, killing Abdullahi Yare near the coastal town of Haramka.

"This leader... was the head preacher of the group and one of the most notorious members of the Shabab group," it said, adding, "He was former head of the Shura council and the group's director for finances."