Mayor of the Somali capital, Abdirahman Omar Osman, was injured on Wednesday after what is suspected to be a suicide attack at the Banadir administration headquarters in Mogadishu.
Seven officials were killed in the said attack which happened moments after the United Nations, UN, envoy to Somalia, James Swan, left the premises.
Swan had met with Mayor Omar Osman and other officials of the capital for talks. His office has since issued a stern statement condemning the incident.
According to further reports, security briefings had preempted that such an attack was imminent. Authorities are still probing how today’s incident breached all security protocols.
A VOA journalist, Harun Maruf, however reports that it is yet to be firmly established whether the attack was a suicide attack or an implanted bomb. In Somalia, the city mayor is also Governor of the Benadir Region.
Mayor Osman has previously worked in ministerial capacities including: Ministers of Information and Treasury. he has also acted at a point as government spokesperson and senior advisor to President/PM.
One report also confirmed that gunmen had fired mortars at the presidential palace earlier in the day.
Al-Shabaab confirmed that they were behind the attack. Somalia continues to suffer from the impact of insurgency waged by the Al-Qaeda affiliated group.
The insurgents have routinely launched attacks in parts of the capital using suicide bombs and improvised explosive devices, IEDs, which have often claimed lives and led to destruction of property.
One of their recent high-profile attacks was in the Jubaland capital of Kismayo. The 14-hour assault on a popular hotel led to the deaths of 26 people according to official records. An attack was also recorded on Monday in Mogadishu.
Breaking: Reports of a mortar attack in areas close to the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu – security source. 3-4 rounds of mortars hit residential areas near 15 May School and civilian residents, unclear if there are any casualties – per sources. pic.twitter.com/D08TeAkCUx— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) July 24, 2019