Car Bomb in Somali Capital Kills 30

By Abdulaziz Osman February 19, 2017

Somali officials say at least 30 people were killed and dozens others wounded when a massive car bomb exploded in a busy market in the capital Mogadishu on Sunday.

The blast ripped through a busy market in Kawo-Goday in Wadajir district on Sunday afternoon.

Security officials and witnesses said the blast occurred as the people were going about their daily business activities. They said the victims included civilians, shopkeepers and government soldiers.

No one has yet claimed the responsibility for the blast, but officials blamed al-Shabab militants.

Somalia's new president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo vowed to defeat al-Shabab in a Twitter message following the attack. He condemned the bombing in the strongest terms, saying it indicates al-Shabab's "barbarism."

He called on Somalis and government's army to unite against the group.

Earlier in the day the president stressed there is an urgent need to fight and defeat the group as quickly as possible.

"My vision is to defeat al-Shabab in the next two years, hopefully if we work very closely together, we will be able to defeat them" he said during a meeting in Mogadishu with African Union leadership and representatives of troop-contributing countries. "If Somalia is to achieve prosperity, than there is an urgent need to root out the group" he said..

Ambassador Francisco Madiera, the African Union envoy to Somalia, assured the president that AU troops operating in Somalia are committed to working towards a peaceful Somalia. "We can cooperate with one another and harmonize our efforts to do exactly that (defeat Al-Shabab)," Madiera said.

In a newly released audio message, a senior al-Shabab leader, Sheikh Hassan Yaqub, called the new Somali president an "apostate" and warned Somalis against supporting him.

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