A Somali army commander and 17 other soldiers guarding him have been killed in a roadside bomb explosion in northern Mogadishu.
General Ali Hassan Nure – also known as Ali Yare – along with 17 of his bodyguards were heading toward Heyle Barise base north of Mogadishu when a bomb hit their vehicle about 150 meters outside the base, a Press TV correspondent in Somalia reported on Wednesday.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. Al-Shabaab fighters, affiliated to the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), have organized many attacks against the transitional government over the past years.
Also in southern Mogadishu on Wednesday, at least eight people have been killed and 19 others seriously injured in fresh clashes between Al-Shabab fighters and Ugandan soldiers, serving the African Union Mission to Somalia.
The clashes began after Al-Shabab fighters attacked an African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) base situated in south Mogadishu, killing two Ugandan soldiers and six civilians. Unconfirmed reports say 9 Ugandans have died in the fight.
UIC spokesman Sheikh Abdirahim Isse Addow told Press TV that the attack was a warning to the United Nations for extending the AMISOM troops mandate for another six months, stressing that Somalia does not need any foreigners.
AMISOM – which was deployed to Somalia in March 2007 – was meant to replace US-backed Ethiopian troops who invaded Somalia in an attempt to back the country’s Transitional Federal Government in year 2006.
However, the Ethiopians who are blamed for loss of thousands of civilian lives did not leave the country once AMISOM took position.