Islamist militant group al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for an attack against a United Arab Emirates convoy in Mogadishu on Wednesday. The convoy was near a military hospital where the UAE trains Somali military, as a result, the only people killed in the car bombing were four Somalis instead of the UAE officers who were in a bullet-proof car.
Attacks during Ramadan are typical of the al Qaeda linked group, al Shabaab. And this is not their first attack during the holy month. On Sunday, al Shabaab militants detonated a car bomb in Mogadishu and shot their way into a national intelligence agency training site. This led to an estimated ten intelligence officials being killed.
Witnesses of the event today are however, terrifying. Stories of civilians fleeing into nearby alleys to avoid bullets that soldiers were firing into the air to prevent crowds from gathering, and other civilians attempting to carry victims to nearby hospitals.
Meanwhile, Somalia has been a delicate country since the collapse of Siad Barre’s regime in 1991. The increase of attacks against its fragile government has not been helpful and despite the 22,000 strong support from the African Union (including troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda), it is still falling prey to al Shabaab attacks.