Somali PM says was targeted by suicide bomber

Last Updated: Friday, April 6, 2012 - 16:47

Mogadishu: Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said on Friday that a suicide attack this week at
Mogadishu`s national theatre where he was giving an address
was an attempt to assassinate him.

Four people, including Somalia`s Olympic committee chief
and the football federation president, were killed Wednesday
when a female suicide bomber blew herself up at the newly
reopened theatre.

"The attempt on my life and other government officials was
the last kick of a dying horse. They killed very prominent
Somali personalities but they failed to intimidate us," Ali
said in an interview to a news agency, referring to Islamist Shebab
rebels.

The al Qaeda-linked insurgents claimed responsibility for
the blast, the latest in a series of attacks against the
Western-backed government since the rebels withdrew from fixed
bases in the war-torn capital last August.

"The Shebab are in the dying moments, losing many of their
strongholds. They are militarily weak and have low morale,"
the prime minister said.

A broad offensive by Ethiopian and Kenyan forces in
southern and western Somalia has forced the rebels from many
of their strongholds, while African Union troops in Mogadishu
have advanced onto the outskirts of the city.

Despite the losses, the Shebab -- Somalia`s most brutal
militia -- remain a serious threat to internationally backed
efforts to restore stability in the Horn of African country
plagued by a devastating civil war since 1991.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 6, 2012 - 16:47

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