¶ NAIROBI, Kenya — A Somali lawmaker was gunned down on a Mogadishu street on Wednesday, a day after four explosions in several neighborhoods of Somalia’s capital killed at least one person and injured several more, including government soldiers.
who are behind much of the violence that plagues the capital, claimed
responsibility for the blasts, but not the assassination of the
Parliament member, Aden Bule Mohamoud, a former army colonel. It was not
immediately clear what other militia or faction might have killed him,
After losing repeated battles both to African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu, as well as to Kenyan troops in southern
Somalia, the Shabab have reverted to guerrilla warfare, both inside
Somalia — where they have targeted civilians — and in Kenya, where they have done the same.
In the attacks on Tuesday night, grenades were lobbed at government
residences and government peacekeeping positions in three areas of the
Somali capital after evening prayers. A grenade lobbed at the residence
of a government official near Mogadishu airport injured two of his
staff, another struck in the same area, a third exploded near the
strategic Bakara market and one caused a blast in a northeastern
“This was Shabab,” said a spokesman for the militant group, Ali Mohamud
Rage, in a telephone interview. “They are the enemy. Whenever you get a
chance to kill the enemy, you have to do it. We are the ones who are
attacking now; they will not attack us anymore.”
The attacks came after the Qaeda-linked Islamist rebel group held a mass
rally on Tuesday in Marka, a coastal city 45 miles south of Mogadishu
that they control.
According to Kenyan and Somali news media, nearly 1,000 Shabab militants
ordered local residents to gather and observe a sort of military parade
in which the militants flaunted their armed might on land and sea,
brandishing weapons and firing them from motorcycles and from speedboats
off the coast. During the spectacle, the militants reiterated threats
to attack neighboring Kenya, which has sent its soldiers into Somalia to
fight the Shabab, as well as Ethiopian troops that habitually
crisscross the Somali border.
Photographs of the event posted on a Somali Web site used by the Shabab show hundreds of Somalis watching a parade of
militants with AK-47s, spears and bows and arrows, as well as people
playing on the beach.
The Shabab spokesman, Mr. Rage, said the event was a celebration of the
Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha. “We are doing this in order to show that
we are not against your happiness,” he said. “There was no political
Days earlier, the African Union peacekeeping mission advertised its own
successes with photos of Somalis playing at a beach in Mogadishu.
Kenya’s military has vowed to stay in Somalia until it rids the south of
the Shabab, but there are already signs that the incursion may lead to a
The Kenyan town of Garissa was hit with a grenade attack on a church on
Saturday night that left two dead. On Friday, armed men opened fire on a
vehicle carrying two tourists from Switzerland on a safari, leaving
their driver dead. Separately, a police officer was also shot dead
during a heavy gun battle with militants only several kilometers from
the Somali border.
Kenya’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Eritrean ambassador to Kenya last
week to discuss allegations that weapon-laden aircraft from Eritrea were
landing in the Shabab-controlled city of Baidoa, and said that Kenya
would consider “reviewing diplomatic ties” with Eritrea, according to a prominent Kenyan newspaper.
In a press release last week, the government of Eritrea called Kenya’s
comments “extremely regrettable,” and apparently took a jab at Kenya’s
military operation in Somalia, saying there was “no military solution”
to the decades of insecurity in the Horn of Africa nation.