Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Suicide bomber kills one in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU, April 17 (Xinhua) -- A suicide bomber killed a Somali soldier after blew himself up at a police station in Somalia's southern town of Baidoa, witnesses and police said.

The bomber was stopped twice by a soldier at the gate of the police station before he detonated his explosives, killing himself and the soldier, Abdishakur Ali, a police officer told Xinhua by phone from the town of Baidoa.

The town of Baidoa, 250 km southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu, had been under the control of the militant group of Al- Shabaab before they were ousted by Ethiopian and Somali government forces in February, said the police officer.

The radical group has since been carrying out guerilla attacks against Somali government and Ethiopian troops in the area, he said.

Ethiopian troops backing Somali government forces have retaken a number of towns and villages in the south and the center of Somalia, while African Union peacekeeping troops based in the capital Mogadishu managed to oust the Al Qaeda-allied group from the city, added the police officer.

Al-Shabaab who have been losing ground to African armies from neighboring countries as well as AU peacekeeping forces known as AMISOM have vowed to change its tactic to guerilla warfare and staged a number of high profile suicide car bomb attacks and roadside explosions.

AMISOM deployed 100 of its soldiers in Baidoa as an advance team for 2,500-strong peacekeeping force in the region.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack but the Al-Shabaab group which carried out deadly attack at a market in Baidoa early in the month often takes credit for such attacks.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since the overthrow of late ruler Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991.

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