Somalia: 20 civilians killed in Al-Shabab attack in central Somalia

By Mohammed Dhaysane

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA): At least 20 civilians in central Somalia were killed in an attack by the al-Shabab terrorist group on a convoy carrying food supplies, officials said on Saturday.

The victims in the attack, which took place near the district of Mahas in the Hiran region, included drivers and passengers in the convoy, with the members of the al-Qaeda-linked terror group burning eight vehicles, security officials in the region told Anadolu agency.

According to State news agency Somali National News Agency (Sonna) al-Shabab terrorists set fire to the trucks and “killed most of the people on board the vehicles”.

The attack took place overnight on Friday as vehicles ferried passengers, food aid and commercial goods between the towns of Beledweyne and Mahas in the central Hiran region. Some of those killed included women and children, the Somali National News Agency reported.

Two vehicles carrying those who went to rescue the victims were also targeted with improvised explosive devices, Somali National Television said.

This comes as the Horn of African nation is struggling with its worst drought and food shortage in 40 years.

Mogadishu condemned the attack, describing it as “barbaric” and vowing to respond swiftly.

On Twittter, Somalia’s presidential envoy for drought response called for immediate support to affected communities after the “devastating” incident.

“The terror group had blown up water wells in Hiran a few days ago. I call for immediate support to these communities that face severe drought,” said Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. The group has been conducting deadly strikes in the country against government officials and African Union peacekeepers since 2007.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Map of Somalia by CIA Factbook/Public Domain]

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