12 died in twin car bomb attack in Somalia
At least 12 people have died in a twin car bomb attack on local government headquarters in Beledweyne, the capital of Somalia’s Hiran region.
Authorities says some 10 others were injured and buildings were destroyed in the blasts. The police say the state’s Health Minister and a Deputy District commissioners were among the dead.
The militant Islamist group, al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the incident. Hiran has been at the centre of a recent mobilization against the al-Qaeda-linked insurgents.
Top al-Shabab leader killed
It is believed the suicide bombings may have been in retaliation to the weekend killing of a top al-Shabab leader in a drone attack.
Authorities announced just hours earlier that Abdullahi Nadir, who had a $3m bounty on his head, was killed in a joint operation by the Somali National Army and international partner forces.
It is not clear who assisted in the operation, but Somalia’s military is supported by troops from the United States and an African Union peacekeeping mission.
Somalia recently declared a ‘total war’ against al-Shabab, which controls large swathes of the country in the south and centre.