Mogadishu: Security tight as army chief survives assassination blast

APA-Mogadishu (Somalia)

Mogadishu, the Somali capital woke up to heightened security on Tuesday, a day after the country's army chief General Yusuf Rage survived an assassination blast.

Since then detachments of the Somali army backed by members of a hybrid  African Union peacekeeping mission have been deployed to strategic site within and outside the city.  

The general's convoy had intercepted and opened fire on a suicide bomber as he attempted to drive into their path while on a tour of the capital.

The army chief and members of his convoy escaped unharmed while the sole attacker died from the blast of his own bomb.

 The Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the unsuccessful assassination bid, describing it as a martyrdom operation targeting a military convoy escorting "senior apostate commanders." 

In recent weeks Shabaab has launched at least three attacks on targets in the Somali capital with fatal consequences.

The militant group which has lost significant territory in Somalia since 2012, is fighting to depose the government in Mogadishu and replace it with a more puritanical Islamic system based on Sharia law. 


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