Suicide Bomber Kills 23 at Somalia Graduation

December 4, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The already weak Somali transitional government suffered a huge setback on Thursday, when a male suicide bomber dressed as a woman, appeared at a graduation ceremony, killing 23 people and wounding 40. Among the dead, were three members of Somalia’s U.N.-backed government. Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, is blaming the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab for the attack, but the rebel group denied responsibility.

Education Minister Abdullahi Wayel, Health Minister Qamar Aden and Higher Education Minister Ibrahim Hassan Adow, died in the blast. As students and staff of Banadir University gathered for a joyous graduation ceremony on Thursday, the bloody blast from the suicide bomber caused death and destruction, killing nine students, journalists and doctors.

Sports Minister Suleman Olad Roble is also hospitalized in critical condition.

The rebel group Al-Shabaab is thought to have links to al Qaeda and is made up of former supporters of President Ahmed, who was once the leader of the Islamists, before he accepted a U.N. backed peace deal.

Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage of the rebel group put the blame for the attack on the tranisitional government. “We declare that al-Shabab did not mastermind that explosion … It is not in the nature of al-Shabab to target innocent people,” Rage told Reuters.

“We know that some so-called government officials left the scene of the explosion just minutes before the attack. That is why it is clear that they were behind the killing,” added Rage.

Al-Shabaab has waged a blody war on the transitional government and UN peacekeepers. The militant group’s goal is to impose Sharia law on the war-torn country.

Source

Photo Source: Reuters


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