At least 14 people including senior officers of the Somali National Army (SNA) were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a stadium in Galkaayo, central Somalia.
Local media outlets named some of the dead as Gen. Abdiaziz Qooje who has been the commandant of SNA’s 21st division, Maj. Mukhtar Abdi Aden the Danab Special Forces 10th Brigade commander and his deputy Ahmed Barafe as well as the former North Galkaayo governor, Mohamud Tumey among others.
Militant group, Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility of the attack that also left at least 10 people injured.
The suicide bombers blew up themselves ahead of Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble arrival to address hundreds of people who had gathered at the Abdullahi Isse Stadium in Galkaayo city in Somalia’s Mudug province.
In a statement, the United Nations in Somalia (UNSOM) condemned the attack but urged the Somali nationals not be derailed from their path to peace, reconciliation and stability.
“This reprehensible act is an attack against all the people and leaders of North and South Galkaayo who have worked so hard to keep the peace there in recent years,” said James Swan, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia.
“We applaud the people of Galkaayo for standing firm in the face of such an outrage and believe that such heinous violence will not deter them, nor their fellow Somalis, from continuing on their path of peace, reconciliation and stability,” he added.