MOGADISHU – At least eight people have been killed in a bomb blast in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, rescue workers say. The Islamist militant group al-Shabab said it carried out the attack.
The blast took place on a road by the entrance to a camp for the Somali Air Force which is close to the international airport yesterday.
Witnesses told the AFP news agency that a private security convoy, escorting foreigners, was passing by when the bomb exploded.
“The blast was so huge that it has destroyed most of the buildings nearby the road and vehicles passing by the area,” Hassan Nur said.
Meanwhile, the United Nations on Monday urged Somalia’s leaders to make good on their agreement for a new election timetable after repeated delays sparked a perilous political crisis.
Under a deal announced late on Sunday after talks between Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and state leaders, parliamentary polls that should have wrapped up last year are now due to be concluded by February 25.
The election impasse set off a bitter power struggle between Roble and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo, that threatened the stability of the fragile Horn of Africa nation.“I want to applaud the national consultative forum meeting in Mogadishu which yielded a positive result that ensures the completion of the election,” the president said on national TV.
The UN mission in Somalia said on Twitter it was “pleased” at the consensus reached during the meetings of the National Consultative Council.
But it added: “The priority now is to implement these decisions to achieve a credible and widely-accepted result by the new deadline.”
“The UN encourages Somali’s political leaders to continue in a spirit of cooperation, avoid provocations that risk new tensions or conflict and stay focused on delivering a credible electoral process quickly for the benefit of all Somalis.”
The international community had voiced fears that the election delays and the Roble-Farmajo feud could tip the country deeper into crisis as it continues to battle a deadly insurgency by Al-Shabaab jihadists. – BBC/AFP.