Explosions in Somali rebel areas: witnesses

November 14, 2011 6:56 am


Kenya's military has said it will launch aerial attacks against rebel positions/FILE
MOGADISHU, Nov 14 – At least three explosions rocked Islamist rebel-held regions outside Somalia’s capital, witnesses said on Monday, with some reporting it to be an aerial attack.

A huge blast was reported in the Shabaab held Afgoye region late on Sunday, some 30 kilometres south of Mogadishu.

Two other explosions were reported on Sunday night in the K50 area, 50 kilometres from the capital, also held by the insurgents.

“We saw a huge light and a heavy explosion followed, like a missile striking, but we don’t know if there are casualties,” said Abdikarin Isa, a resident of Afgoye, a sprawling rag hut city of displaced people.

Abdullahi Jumale, another witness, said what he believed to be a missile hit near an orphanage.

“I was having dinner when I saw huge light coming from the western side of the town and there was heavy explosion, it hit near Tadamun orphanage,” he said.

Witnesses also said other explosions were heard near military camps of the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab.

“We heard heavy explosions – something like a missile – striking several areas in the region including Ambareso and K50 area,” said Idiris Moalim, a local elder.

“Some of these explosions happened at Shabaab military camps and checkpoints but nothing is quite clear so far,” he added.

“There was another heavy explosion near Lantaburo, there was fire and smoke but I cannot say what exactly happened,” Mohamed Ali, another witness in K50 area said by telephone.

Kenya’s military, which moved into southern Somalia last month to battle Shabaab insurgents, has said it will launch aerial attacks against rebel positions.

The United States said last month it was flying unmanned drones out of neighbouring Ethiopia as part of a counter-terrorism campaign in the Horn of Africa but said the aircraft were unarmed and not carrying out raids.

Shabaab officials could not be immediately reached for comment.


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