Al-Shabaab claims deadly car bombing in Somalia
Terrorist group al-Shabaab on Dec. 30 evening claimed responsibility for Saturday's suicide truck bombing in Somalia that killed some 80 people, including two Turkish citizens, and wounded over 150 others.
Hours before the terror group's announcement, Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) said on Twitter that they had indications a foreign government masterminded the attack, but gave no further details.
In a 24-minute audio posted on al-Shabaab propaganda radio, the Somali-based, al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group claimed they had targeted a Turkish convoy at an intersection in a southwestern suburb of the capital Mogadishu.
Ali Mohamud Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, the terror group's spokesman, said that they had carried out an attack against what they called “Turkish invaders and their bodyguards, killing many of them."
Turkey has strong historical ties with Somalia on the principle of “win-win” relations, including over 150 development aid projects carried out by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) since 2011.
After the attack, Turkey flew doctors to the scene and brought 16 Somalis to Turkish hospitals to treat their injuries, as well as treated 36 in a Turkish-built and -funded hospital in the capital
This September, at least two people were injured in a bomb attack targeting a Turkish Maarif Foundation vehicle in Mogadishu, in an attack also claimed by al-Shabaab.
After the latest claim of responsibility, a Somali senator condemned al-Shabaab.
Claiming the attack “that killed innocent civilians including many students shows its heinous and cowardly actions,” Senator Ilyas Ali Hassan said on Twitter.