Suicide blast at Mogadishu police base kills 9

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 10:05

Mogadishu: A suicide car bomb ripped
through a police base in Mogadishu, killing nine people after a weekend of bloody fighting between pro-government forces and
Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab insurgents.

Police sources said at least nine people were killed Monday night when the explosives-laden vehicle blew up at the Darwish camp, a site used by a police unit and adjacent to a police academy.

One police officer confirmed that at least six
policemen were killed when the blast went off, at a time when
security personnel in the area generally report for duty.

"At least six police officers were killed. Many others
were wounded, the toll could be higher but I don`t have more
details," said Abdirahman Issa, a senior police official in
the Somali capital.

He said a number of civilians were also killed in the
explosion and added the area had been completely cordoned off.

Somali Interior Minister Abdishakur Sheik Hassan
condemned "this barbaric act in our strongest terms" and told
reporters that at least seven people were killed, including
police officials, and that more than 30 were injured.

Al Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels claimed responsibility
for the attack, which they said claimed a heavy military toll.
"The attack was carried out by brothers from the
Shebab al Mujahideen on the camp where around six hundred
soldiers awaiting deployment stayed," Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage,
a spokesman for the group told a press conference.

"They were planning to take part in the war in
Mogadishu ... Most of them died and many are seriously injured
while the rest have fallen in shock," he said.

Police spokesman Abdulahi Hasan Barise said four
suicide bombers are assumed to have carried out the attack,
which he said was partially foiled by police guards at the
gate.

"There were around four suicide bombers including a
woman and a man we think was light-skinned. They were using a
truck loaded with petrol and approximately nine tonnes of
explosives.

"They wanted to hit inside the camp but fortunately
the guards opened fire and killed two of them, leaving the
driver seriously injured before he hit the gate and
detonated," Barise said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 10:05

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