Mogadishu – A car bomb targeting group of Turkish contractors exploded on Saturday in the Somali town of Afgoye, 30 kilometers northwest of Mogadishu, injuring at least 11 people.
“A speeding suicide car bomb rammed into a place where the Turkish engineers and Somali police were having lunch,” police officer Nur Ali told Reuters from Afgoye.
At least 11 people were injured in the attack, including four Turkish nationals, Turkey’s Ambassador to Somalia Mehmet Yılmaz was quoted as saying. The wounded were brought to the Mogadishu Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Eğitim Training and Research Hospital for treatment.
Turkish Ministry of Defense condemned the attack injuring 11 civilians, saying Turkey will continue to stand next to Somali people in the fight against terrorism.
It was not known who carried out the attack but residents and police said al-Shabaab terrorists had tried to attack Afgoye late on Friday and were repulsed. The al-Qaida-linked militant group has claimed responsibility for past attacks in its campaign to overturn Somalia’s U.N.-backed government.
“We heard a huge blast and soon clouds of smoke into the air. Before the blast, several Turkish engineers and well armed convoy of Somali police were at the scene,” Farah Abdullahi, a shopkeeper, told Reuters from Afgoye.
“We see casualties being carried but we cannot make if they are dead or injured.”
Turkish engineers are helping with road construction in Somalia. A group of engineers was among those hit in late December in a blast at a checkpoint in Mogadishu that killed at least 90 people. Two Turkish nationals were killed in the attack.
Since a 2011 famine in Somalia, Turkey has been a major source of aid to the country.
The Daily Sabah