Somalia’s new army chief, General Mohamed Ahmed Jimale, survived a car bomb attack in Mogadishu that claimed the lives of at least 15 people, according to police and military officials.
The newly appointed military boss was said to be travelling in a convoy with military officials when the blast hit near the Ministry of Defence. He had just left his swearing in ceremony,
When military officials and officers arrived on the scene they counted 15 badly mutilated bodies.
“At least 15 people mostly civilians died in the blast,” Major Hussein Nur, a military official, told Reuters. “We do not know the exact figure of casualties. All the people on board the ruined minibus perished. Soldiers and other private security guards also died,” he said. A packed minibus carrying civilian passengers was completely destroyed in the attack, raising fears of a climbing death toll.
The militant extremist group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack. The group has vowed to fight the internationally backed government and has launched regular attacks against both government and civilian installations in the past.
The attack comes on the heels of an ultimatum issued by the Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo demanding Al-Shabaab fighters turn themselves in within the net 60 days or “face consequences”. The Somali President has spoken tough about the militant insurgency group before.