On 18 January 2020, a suicide car bombing killed four and injured at least 20 others in Afgooye, approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the Somali capital, Mogadishu.[1] Most of the casualties were police officers protecting Turkish contractors building a road.[2] The al-Qaeda-linked extremist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.[2][3]

2020 Afgooye bombing
Part of the Somali Civil War (2009–present)
Afgoye is located in Somalia
Afgoye (Somalia)
LocationAfgooye, Lower Shabelle, Somalia
Date18 January 2020 (2020-01-18)
Attack type
Suicide car bombing
WeaponsCar bomb
Deaths4 (+1 suicide bomber)

Background edit

Al-Shabaab began as the armed wing[4] of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), which later splintered into several smaller factions after its defeat in 2006 by Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the TFG's Ethiopian military allies.[5]

The group often carries out attacks in Somalia, especially in and around Mogadishu.[3] It less frequently attacks other African countries which support Somalia, especially neighbouring Kenya. Al-Shabaab carries out attacks to try to undermine Somalia's central government, which is backed by the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping troops, (AMISOM).[6] On 14 October 2017, the worst attack by the organization killed more than 500 people with two bomb explosions that targeted Somalia's capital city Mogadishu.[7]

Turkish involvement in Somalia edit

Turkey is a large donor of humanitarian aid and reconstruction to Somalia.[8] Turkey maintained an embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, until the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991.[9] During the drought of 2011, Turkey contributed over $201 million to the humanitarian relief efforts in the impacted parts of Somalia.[10] Turkey assisted in the building of several hospitals, and helped renovate and rehabilitate the Aden Adde International Airport and the National Assembly building, among other initiatives.[11]

Attack edit

Al-Shabaab militants detonated a car bomb near Afgooye, which is in Lower Shabelle and is approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Mogadishu.[1] A Somali police commander said the intended target was Turkish construction workers.[3] The suicide bomber sped into an area where the engineers and police were having lunch.[6] Local witnesses described a "massive explosion" and "clouds of smoke".[1] The casualties were mostly police officers providing security.[3] Following the attack, al-Shabaab issued a statement, "We are behind the martyrdom of the suicide car bomb in Afgoye".[6]

Reactions edit

The Turkish Ministry of National Defense wrote on Twitter: "We curse and condemn in the strongest terms the bomb terror attack which targeted innocent civilians in Somalia".[6]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Somalia: Turkish workers wounded in deadly al-Shabab car bombing". Al Jazeera. 18 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b Guled, Abdi (18 January 2020). "At least 2 killed, 20 wounded in bombing near Somali capital". AP News. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility For Suicide Car Bombing In Somalia". Forces Network. 18 January 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  4. ^ "So Much to Fear" | War Crimes and the Devastation of Somalia (Report). Human Rights Watch. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  5. ^ Ali, Abdisaid M. (2008). The Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahidiin – A Profile of the First Somali Terrorist Organisation (PDF). Berlin, Germany: Institut für Strategie Politik Sicherheits und Wirtschaftsberatung. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Sheikh, Abdi (18 January 2020). "Car bomb attack wounds Turkish contractors, police near Somali capital". Reuters. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Death toll from Somalia truck bomb in October now at 512: probe committee". Reuters. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Al-Shabab claims deadly attack in Somalia's Mogadishu". Al Jazeera. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Foreign Policy". Embassy of the Somali Federal Republic in Ankara. Archived from the original on 23 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Turkey raises $201 million for Somalia". Hürriyet. 26 August 2011. Archived from the original on 8 September 2011.
  11. ^ Warah, Rasna (1 April 2012). "Why Turkish aid model is proving to be a success in Somalia and elsewhere". Daily Nation. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013.