Somali army chief survives suicide attack in Mogadishu

Brig. Gen. Odawaa Yussuf Raage, the Chief of Staff of Somalia's Defence Forces (CDF) addresses Somali National Army (SNA) commanders and soldiers at the Gen. Gordon Military Training Academy in Mogadishu Somalia on 28 March 2019. This was during an event at which the AMISOM Protection, Human Rights, and Gender Office visited the academy to brief SNA soldiers and commanders on the international humanitarian law governing the conduct of operations in Somalia and the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP). AMISOM distributed copies of the code of conduct to the combatants. AMISOM Photo / Abdikarim Mohamed
Brig. Gen. Odawaa Yussuf Raage, the Chief of Staff of Somalia’s Defence Forces (CDF) addresses Somali National Army (SNA) commanders and soldiers in Mogadishu, Somalia on 28 March, 2019. (Photo: AMISOM / Abdikarim Mohamed)

Somalia’s Army chief survived a suicide attack in Mogadishu on Monday after an explosion targeting his convoy occurred near the army hospital, officials said.

Ismael Mukhtar Omar, government spokesman said the massive attack in Hodan district in Mogadishu targeted the country’s army chief General Odawaa Yusuf whose convoy was passing near the main military hospital.

“The explosion occurred near the Army Hospital, targeting the Force Commander. There were no casualties but resulted in injuries,” Ismael said in a statement.

The army commander had left the ministry of defense a minute before the massive attack that targeted his convoy, sparking heavy gunfire.

A plume of black smoke could be seen billowing from the scene.

Independent sources said one person was killed while another was injured in the latest attack in the Horn of Africa nation.

“One person was killed, another injured but the army chief was not hurt,” said a police officer who asked for anonymity.

Witnesses reported the blast near Tarabunka junction in Hodan district.

“The blast hit military vehicles near Tarabunka. We heard huge gunfire and ambulances were rushing to the scene,” Mohamed Abdi, a witness, said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack but al-Qaida allied terrorist group, al-Shabaab which is fighting to overthrow the government has usually staged such attacks in the past, targeting military bases and public places.

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