Roadside bomb kills eight in Somalia

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NAIROBI/MOGADISHU - A roadside bomb has killed eight people and injured 12 in the Somali capital Mogadishu, the Horn of Africa nation’s information ministry said Tuesday.

Nobody claimed immediate responsibility for the blast, but the information ministry blamed Islamist insurgent group al-Shababb, which has links to Al Qaeda.

Al-Shabaab, which is battling to oust the weak Western-backed government, last Monday launched an offensive against the government and AU peacekeepers.

Around 100 people have died since the onslaught began, including 33 in a suicide attack on a hotel that killed four lawmakers last Tuesday.

Four Ugandan peacekeepers, part of the 6,000-strong African Union force protecting the government’s territory in Mogadishu, were killed by an insurgent mortar Monday.

Al-Shabaab has grown in strength in recent months, backed by an influx of foreign fighters from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The group carried out its first strike on foreign soil in July, killing 76 in a twin bomb blast in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Deployment of an extra 2,000 troops peacekeeping troops pledged by East African grouping IGAD to bolster the government has begun.

The current insurgency, which has claimed more than 21,000 lives, kicked off in early 2007 following Ethiopia’s invasion to oust the ruling Islamist regime.

Somalia has been immersed in chaos since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Filed under: Terrorism

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