A deadly suicide attack has killed nine militants and two Somali government officials when an Al Shabaab extremist group attacked the presidential compound in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
According to media reports, two suicide bombers in two cars attacked the compound causing massive explosions. After the massive explosions, seven armed gunmen stormed the compound and opened fire.
Somali President Hassan Sheik Mohamud who was residing and working in the compound was unharmed.
An official in the prime minister’s office and a security official were killed in the attack.
Nine militants were also killed in the attack. Two of the militants were blown up in the car suicide attack and seven were shot by Somali security forces.
The Al Shabaab group has brought chaos and instability in the African country for many years. The group was pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011 by help of UN peacekeeping forces with the collaboration of the Somali government. Since then, it has been waging a guerrilla campaign of suicide bombings, shootings, assassinations and other deadly attacks.
Al-Shabaab militant group has been compared with the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan because of its opinions and beliefs.
Somalia has been in constant wars for past two past decades since the collapse of the Somali state in January 21, 1991. Millions of lives were lost and a countless number of people had been internally displaced.
Somalia is the country worst affected by a severe drought that has ravaged large swaths of the Horn of Africa, leaving an estimated 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
US condemns the attack
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Deputy Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said the the United States strongly condemns al-Shabaab’s attack today on the Villa Somalia Compound in Mogadishu.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed in the attack, and wish the injured a speedy recovery.” – Ms. Harf
She commended the immediate response of the Somali forces who, with AMISOM support, were able to secure Villa Somalia shortly after al-Shabaab launched its attacks.
She underlined that the recent attacks by the extremist group has affirmed that the al-Shabaab stands only for death and destruction and that al-Shabaab is firmly opposed to the Somali peoples’ efforts to build a more secure and prosperous future.
“The United States will continue to support the Somali people and their government as they rebuild their country.” – Ms. Harf
She added firmly that those who stand in the way of Somalia’s progress will not succeed.
US Recognizes new functioning democratic government of Somalia
With the recent creation of a functioning democratic government in 2012, the United States of America announced for the first time since 1991 that it is recognizing the Government of Somalia.
In her remarks with President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud after their meeting in Washington DC, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said it is a great privilege for the US to be welcoming President Hassan Sheikh and his delegation at the State Department.
The US wanted to work together, not only with the people of Somalia but with governments across the region, the international community, and other like-minded friends.
In early 2009, the final Transitional Federal Government began its work.
Somali security forces, supported by the African Union Mission in Somalia, and troops from Uganda and Burundi and now Kenya and Djibouti began to drive al-Shabaab out of cities and towns.
Humanitarian aid finally began getting to the people in need in the country.
The US provided more than $650 million in assistance to the African Union Mission in Somalia, more than 130 million to Somalia’s security forces.
In the past two years, the US has given nearly $360 million in emergency humanitarian assistance and more than $45 million in development-related assistance to help rebuild Somalia’s economy. And we have provided more than $200 million throughout the Horn of Africa for Somali refugee assistance.
Both countries have particular concerns about the dangers facing displaced people, especially women, who continue to be vulnerable to violence, rape, and exploitation.