MOGADISHU (Reuters) - At least 30 people died in a wave of coordinated bombings and shootings in the Somali capital, a medical source said, increasing estimates of the toll from the Sunday attacks which exposed the fragility of security gains in Mogadishu.
African peacekeeping troops blocked off streets and searched houses across the city early on Monday to flush out suspected members of the Islamist militant group al Shabaab which claimed responsibility for the strikes.
“At least 30 people died and 20 others were injured. That is from our services and hospital sources,” a coordinator for Mogadishu’s ambulance service, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told Reuters on Monday.
Officials late on Sunday sad at least 19 people had died.
At least one car bomb exploded and several suicide bombers blew themselves up in front of Mogadishu’s law courts. Gunmen also stormed the court compound, spraying it with bullets.
A couple of hours later a car bomb was detonated near the city’s fortified airport.
The al Qaeda-linked militants have staged a series of guerrilla-style bombings and attacks in the capital nearly two years after they were driven out of their positions there by African and government soldiers.
The law courts were a symbolic target. Somalia’s new government has made reforming the judiciary a priority in its program to shake off the country’s “failed state” tag. The government exerts little influence beyond the capital.
Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Andrew Heavens