Al-Shabab claims double suicide bombing in Somalia

Local government headquarters and emergency responders targeted in Galkayo, leaving at least 20 people dead.

    At least 20 people have been killed and several others wounded in twin suicide blasts in the central Somali town of Galkayo, according to a Somali health official.

    The first vehicle explosion on Sunday targeted the local government headquarters; the second targeted emergency services at the scene of the first blast.

    "There were two huge bombs. The first one was a truck bomb, followed a minute or so [later] by another car bomb. My brother was injured at the scene," Halima Ismail, a local resident, told Reuters news agency.

    Inside Story: Al-Shabab - cross-border conflict?

    Authorities initially put the death toll at 13, including civilians and security forces personnel, but a medical official said that number had risen.

    "Death toll is over 20 and it may rise further," said Ahmed Sugule, a doctor at Galkayo hospital. He said another 30 people were wounded in the attack.

    Al-Shabab, the armed group fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu, claimed responsibility for the blasts.

    The UN mission in Somalia condemned Sunday's explosions. "Terrorist attacks will not stop 2016 electoral process," UNSOM said via its Twitter account.

    Somalia is scheduled to hold elections later this year.

    The attack in Galkayo comes just days after Somali security services captured a wanted al-Shabab commander there.

    US-trained commandos called Danab arrested Abdullah al-Sudani and four other suspected fighters.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.