. Earth Science News .

Car bomb rocks Mogadishu during Kenyan ministers visit
by Staff Writers
Mogadishu (AFP) Oct 18, 2011

A car bomb exploded in Mogadishu Tuesday near a meeting involving two Kenyan ministers after Shebab rebels promised Nairobi all-out retaliation for its unprecedented military operation inside Somalia.

Two days after declaring war on Somalia's Islamist insurgency, which it blames for a string of kidnappings, Kenya's forces advanced on a strategic rebel-held town deep inside southern Somalia.

The shock move by Nairobi, which was conducted without any mandate and left the region mum, drew a fierce reaction from the Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab, who threatened Kenya with reprisals on "all fronts."

A suspected car bomb exploded in Mogadishu near the foreign ministry where Kenya's Defence Minister Yusuf Haji and Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula were meeting officials from the Western-backed Somali transitional government.

"There was heavy explosion near the foreign affairs ministry building and initial reports are indicating a car laden with explosives detonated. We are still investigating the incident," Mohamed Adan, a Somali official said.

No official confirmation of the death toll was immediately available but reports suggested the attack claimed at least two victims and was carried out by a suicide bomber.

"There was a huge blast near K5 and everybody starting running, I saw two dead bodies and seven others who were injured," Said Yusuf, a witness said.

It was unclear how long Kenyan troops planned to stay in Somalia but Nairobi had been under growing pressure to take action and attempt to restore confidence that it could safely host tourists and one of the world's largest aid communities.

Kenya and Somalia's defence ministers signed an agreement to "cooperate in undertaking security and military operations" including "coordinated pre-emptive action," but limiting Kenyan operations to Somalia's Lower Juba region.

Critics say Kenya promised increased security measures after the first kidnapping, that of British tourist Judith Tebbutt last month, but failed to prevent a second abduction of French woman Marie Dedieu in the Lamu archipelago three weeks later.

A third incident, the kidnapping of two Spanish aid workers in Dadaab, long a security worry for Kenya because of chronic overcrowding, happened last Thursday, apparently prompting the incursion over the border.

"Our forces will be concentrating on operations in Afmadow region today," said Kenyan army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir.

Kenyan troops have pushed at least 120 kilometres (75 miles) into Somalia to reach Afmadow region, guided by pro-government Somali forces, backed by heavy aerial bombardments but bogged down on mud tracks in heavy rain.

Senior Shebab leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys warned that Kenya would face the consequences of moving troops into Somalia.

"Kenya has joined the list of occupiers of another country's land, and history will tell what happens to their aggression," Aweys, a top Shebab leader and key figure in Somali Islamism, told AFP by telephone from Somalia.

"We shall spare no efforts and will fight Kenya on all fronts possible. We are not afraid to fight to the death because Allah will reward us if we die. History will tell that we were defending our homeland while the Kenyans will die aggressors."

Meanwhile police stepped up security and beefed up their intelligence mechanisms, particularly in Nairobi.

"I appeal to Nairobians and Kenyans in general to be extra alert, and in case anybody sights any suspicious and strange person or any suspicious object to report to any police officer," Nairobi Provincial Police commander Antony Kibuchi said and circulated hotline numbers to the public.

"We have stepped up security across the city following these threats."

Kenyan police said that two British nationals were arrested Sunday near the border with Somalia "on suspicion of terrorism activities."

The pair are believed to be from Cardiff, which is home to one of the largest Somali communities in the United Kingdom.

Police also arrested 10 people in Dadaab suspected of militant links as "part of security measures to ensure Kenya is free of the Shebab," regional police chief Leo Nyongesa said.

The last time Somalia was invaded by one of its neighbours was in late 2006 when Ethiopia started an occupation that lasted two years and spurred the formation of the Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab insurgency.

But Kenya said it was not frightened by the Shebab's grim warning.

"We will not give up at all, we will not be cowed or intimidated by the Shebab," Chirchir said.

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Kenyan forces advance on strategic Somali rebel bases
Nairobi (AFP) Oct 18, 2011
Kenyan troops advanced towards a strategic rebel-held Somali town on Tuesday as heavy air strikes battered Shebab militant positions, army officials said. "Our forces will be concentrating on operations in Afmadow region today, they started moving there late on Monday," said army spokesman Major Emmannuel Chirchir. Kenyan troops have pushed at least 120 kilometres (75 miles) into Somalia ... read more

A team for an emergency

Fukushima city begins decontamination of homes

Gas blast kills 11 miners in north China: Xinhua

Radioactive emissions from Fukushima plant fall: TEPCO

Apple profit soars but misses high expectations

China rare earths giant halts output as prices fall

Camera lets people shoot first, focus later

A hidden order unraveled

Deep-reef coral hates the light, prefers the shade

Study identifies molecules used by certain species of seaweed to harm corals

New photos reveal Taiwan shark fishing: report

Massive S.Korea river project still making waves

CryoSat rocking and rolling

US probes mystery disease killing Arctic seals

NASA Continues Critical Survey of Antarctica's Changing Ice

Research shows how life might have survived 'snowball Earth'

Farmland floods do not raise levels of potentially harmful flame retardants in milk

Food without preservatives - thanks to self-cleaning equipment

Southern Africian farmers using fertilizer trees to improve food security

Chinese man charged in theft of US trade secrets

Clustered hurricanes reduce impact on ecosystems

125,000 displaced in Mexico floods

Thai PM appeals for unity amid flood crisis

Russian Ship Finds Tsunami Debris where Scientists Predicted

Car bomb rocks Mogadishu during Kenyan ministers visit

Kenyan forces advance on strategic Somali rebel bases

Kenyan forces hunt militants deep inside Somalia

Planned Tanzanian soda ash plant threatens flamingoes

Protecting the brain when energy runs low

Police take control of Britain's biggest traveller site

Friends in mind: Facebook network shows in brain structure

Children prefer cooperation


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement