MOGADISHU, Somalia – President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has once again condemned the actions of the Al-Shabaab militants, stating that their main goal is to harm innocent civilians. He reassured the public that the government will work closely with international partners to eradicate the group.
Hassan Sheikh expressed his regret over the recent attack carried out by Al-Shabaab in Beledweyne and vowed to hold the perpetrators accountable. The attack resulted in the death of at least 36 people and left 40 others critically injured, according to officials in Hiiraan.
President Mohamud emphasized that the activities of Al-Shabaab will not hinder the national army’s efforts to eliminate them from strategic areas in central and southern Somalia. Data shows that the militants currently control large portions of rural central and southern regions.
“The terrorist attack in Beledweyne town demonstrates the enemy’s intention to harm our people everywhere. They target mosques, assassinate religious and community leaders, and are responsible for the destruction of the Baledweyne mosque today and the Daru-Nicma mosque yesterday,” stated Mohamud.
The attack in Beledweyne involved a truck filled with explosives that detonated at a busy checkpoint, resulting in numerous casualties. Eyewitnesses reported that a security vehicle was chasing the truck at the time of the explosion.
This attack is the deadliest in the country in recent months, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence. It coincides with ongoing operations by the Somali National Army, the US Africa Command, and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] against the militants.
Abdifatah Mohamed Yusuf, the director-general of the Hirshabelle Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Management, confirmed that 40 people were injured in the attack. The wounded have been transported to Mogadishu for specialized medical treatment.
Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre stated on Saturday that the country has successfully liberated approximately 45% of Al-Shabaab strongholds in Somalia. Over the past 10 months, the national army has been leading an extensive campaign against the militants.