Five dead in morning bomb blast targeting senior Somalia police official
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A senior police commander survived a serious bombing in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, officials said, in an attack that comes just three months after assuming his security responsibilities in this country in the Horn of Africa.
Colonel Farhan Mohamud Adan aka Qarole, was targeted by a massive explosion at the Banadir crossroads in the capital, but managed to escape unscathed, sources said. This is the first major attack targeting a senior government official in as many months.
Police sources said at least five of his security guards died instantly, while others were seriously injured. It is not known where the police chief was headed, but Saturdays are normal working days in Somalia where most citizens subscribe to Islam.
“Banaadir Police Chief Farxaan Qaroole survives car bomb in Mogadishu,” state media reported, without giving many details on the victims and possible evacuation processes by members of the security forces.
Photos taken at the site painted images of a deadly explosion that dismantled several vehicles and the surrounding area, leaving wreckage behind. The Somali government has yet to release an official statement regarding the explosion.
Although no group has yet taken responsibility for them, such attacks are synonymous with the Al-Shabaab group, which controls large rural areas of central and southern Somalia. The group often targets senior government officials, security forces and sometimes innocent civilians.
Colonel Qarole was appointed in April after his predecessor, Brigadier General Sadik John, was sacked after opposing the extension of Farmajo’s tenure. The rebellion forced the president to authorize talks on holding elections in the country.
Colonel Farhan Qarole was an al-Shabaab defector, further indication of why the group may have targeted him. Al-Shabaab often seeks revenge on members who support the government’s agenda through defections.
Al-Shabaab militants have suffered immense defeats in recent months following Somali National Army operation [SNA], which is keen to overthrow the group of its traditional strongholds. The country has struggled with instability for three decades.