Al-Shabab militants attacked several police stations and security checkpoints in The early Somali capital Mogadishu on On Wednesday, officials and activists said, a show of force as the nation prepares for a much-delayed presidential election.
Al-Qaeda-linked militants wear out frequent attacks against the government and last week attacked a minibus carrying electoral delegates.
the group’s spokesman, Abdiasis Abu Musab, said the fighters hit government targets in four quarters in the capital and another area on The suburbs. He said the militants invaded government bases and seizures military vehicles and weapons. It wasn’t right away possible to verify these claims.
Internal Security Minister Abdullahi Nor wrote on Twitter early on Wednesday: “The terrorists attacked the suburbs of Mogadishu and targeted our police stations and checkpoints. Our security defeated the enemy.”
The victims of the attacks, which took place just before 01:00 (22:00 GMT), were unclear.
A Reuters witness who visited the scene of a attack on A police station in the Kahda district in the cityest to the west says the building was destroyed along with neighboring houses. Local resident Halima Faragh told Reuters the blasts sounded like an earthquake and said she and she family fled from them home in fear.
Mogadishu police spokesman Abdifatah Aden told Reuters that al-Shabab fighters launched the attack on Kahda police station and attacked another neighborhood, Darusalam, in the city is north-is. Speaking shortly after the attacks, he said security forces were exchanging gunfire with activists and promised further updates, but did not return subsequent phone calls.
Al Shabab have also recently made the forays outside the capital, including the capture of a city in December in the semi-autonomous central state of Galmudug, residents said, a victory that highlighted how the group exploited the divisions between the central power government and his former allies in other regions.
the latest attack came as indirect legislative elections were being held. Elections for lawmakers started on November 1 and were originally scheduled to end on December 24, but are currently to be completed on February 25.
The indirect electoral process in Somalia calls for for regional councils to choose a senate. Delegates include clan elders who pick members of the lowest housewho would then choose a new president at a date yet to come fixed.
A months-long dispute between Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble and son political rival, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, was blamed for the delayed presidential elections.