Al-Shabab bombs UN van in Somalia, 4 UNICEF workers killed | Inquirer News

Al-Shabab bombs UN van in Somalia, 4 UNICEF workers killed

/ 01:46 PM April 21, 2015
Somalia Violence

This image made from video shows the scene following a bomb attack on a van carrying U.N. employees in Garowe, in the semiautonomous Puntland region of northern Somalia Monday, April 20, 2015. A bomb exploded Monday in northern Somalia, killing at least 10 people and wounding many others, police and U.N. officials said, with the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group claiming responsibility for the attack, according to the group’s Andalus radio. AP

MOGADISHU, Somalia—Islamic extremists set off a bomb in a U.N. van in normally tranquil northern Somalia on Monday, killing at least seven people, including four employees of the U.N. children’s agency in an attack that was widely denounced.

Two Kenyans, one Ugandan, one Afghan and three Somalis died in the explosion in Garowe town and one American, one Sierra Leonean, one Ugandan, one Kenyan and four Somalis were wounded, police Col. Ali Salad told The Associated Press.


Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called it a direct attack on the future of the country.

“This attack is not just targeted at the United Nations, but in attacking UNICEF, al-Shabab has also attacked Somali children. It is an attack against the future of our country and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Mohamud said in a statement.


Al-Shabab, which is battling to convert Somalia into a hard-line Islamic state, claimed responsibility through its radio station for the attack in Garowe, capital of Puntland state.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said: “Our colleagues dedicated their lives to working for the children of Somalia. They are not victims. They and those who were wounded are heroes. We mourn their loss and hope for the full recovery of the injured.”

The bomb was apparently planted under a seat and was detonated by remote control, said police official Yusuf Ali.

Garowe resident Jama Hashi said he heard a thunderous blast inside the van, which he said was passing near the offices of the U.N.’s food agency when the bomb went off. Human limbs were scattered around the scene, he said. Security forces sealed off the area as ambulances carried the wounded away. Photos showed the roof had apparently been blown off. A corpse leaned out of a window whose glass had been blown away, dripping blood onto the side of the van.

“It’s a dark day, but terrorists must know that the blood they shed will not go in vain. We shall deal with them with an iron hand,” said Salad, the police commander in the semi-autonomous Puntland state.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at U.N. headquarters in New York that “the men and women who bring humanitarian action to light are an inspiration to us all.”

“Targeting such brave and dedicated individuals for violence is an attack on us all,” he said. “We must do our utmost to bring the perpetrators to justice and to ensure that humanitarian personnel have the security they need to carry out their vital role.”


The U.N. Security Council said it was outrage at the attack, condemning it in the strongest terms and reiterating its determination “to combat all forms of terrorism.” Council members said recent terrorist attacks have only strengthened their determination to support the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia.

Bombings are rare in northern Somalia, unlike in the south where al-Shabab is battling the Somali government and the African Union forces bolstering it.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack earlier this month at a college in northeastern Kenya in which at least 148 people, most of them students, were killed. Kenya has sent troops into Somalia as part of the AU force to stabilize the government and attack al-Shabab, which is allied with al-Qaida.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: al-Shabab, Bombing, Terrorism, UN, UNICEF
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2021 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.