Yesterday, August 30th 2016, al Shabaab carried out a suicide car bomb attack in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The blast targeted the presidential palace and caused the death of at least 15 and injured 45.
Both civilians and soldiers were among the victims, and a minister and some radio journalists were among the wounded.
However, medical officers quoted a higher death toll of 22.
The blast also damaged surrounding buildings, including that of two nearby hotels.
Al Shabaab, a militant group affiliated with al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Though the African Union peacekeeping force, AMISOM, were able to push al Shabaab out of Mogadishu in 2011, the group have continued to carry out many attacks across Somalia, as well as in Kenya and Uganda.
In the first six months of 2016, Somalia saw 477 deaths and injuries from 21 IED attacks. Of these deaths and injuries 70% were civilians (334).
In 2015, 700 people were killed in incidents involving explosive violence in Somalia, of these 64% (451) were civilians.
Al Shabaab’s explosive violence alone killed 477 people in Somalia, of which 71% (337) were civilians. 273 of these civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence perpetrated by al Shabaab were carried out by IEDs. Al Shabaab were responsible for all IED events in Somalia last year where the perpetrator was identified.
AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all groups to reject the deliberate targeting of civilians. States must urgently address the threat of suicide bombings and other forms of IED attacks. Reports by AOAV show the increasing use and harm of suicide bombings around the world. It is a growing reality that highlights the need for urgent preventative measures that States should establish – such as stockpile controls – to limit groups’ ability to produce these and other IEDs.
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