In what’s being viewed as a retaliatory attack, Somali extremists in bomb-laden cars disguised to look like U.N. vehicles gained access to the African Union peacekeeping mission headquarters and detonated their explosives, killing at least 21 people. The attack occurred around noon local time yesterday.
Extremists had vowed to avenge the death of Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a high-value al-Qaeda operative who U.S. Special Forces targeted in a well-coordinated operation on Monday. The strike on Nabhan’s convoy killed the Qaeda operative and at least four others traveling with him, including a senior commander of Somali insurgent group al-Shabaab.
The attack on the AMISOM base appears to be the promised revenge.
The victims included 4 Somali civilians, 17 peacekeepers from Burundi and Uganda, including the mission’s second in command, Major General Juvenal Niyoyunguruza of Burundi. At least 40 other people were injured, according to the A.U. special representative for Somalia, Nicolas Bwakira, who briefed the media in Mogadishu today.
Very tragic news indeed. I keep thinking back to a devastating article by Edmund Sanders I recently read about the daily hardships faced by peacekeepers in Somalia.
More to come…