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Somali Bomb Targets Intelligence Chief, Kills 10 Others Instead

  • 03.18.13 02:03 PM EDT

Targeting Khalif Ahmed Ilig, the intelligence chief of the district controlling Somalia's capital, the militant group al-Shabab is taking credit for a car bomb that killed at least 10 civilians.  

"Most of the people who died were on board the minibus - civilians. This public vehicle coincidentally came between the government car and the car bomb when it was hit. Littered at the scene are human hands and flesh." Abdiqadir Mohamud, a senior police officer, told Reuters.

The suicide bombing was 100 meters from the Presidential Palace, and next to a national theatre, on Maka Al Mukaram road, "the riskiest and busiest street in Mogadishu." resident Farah Abdulle told Reuters. 

Al Shabaab is a fundamentalist group interested in imposing strict Sharia law. Their spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said the group was behind the attack, as revenge for killed members of the rebel group in the past couple of weeks.

Monday's attack was the bloodiest far this year, police said, a stark reminder of 20+ years of civil war, in a country where the central government depends heavily on a 17,600-strong African Union peacekeeping force for its survival.