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Somalia arrests security officers over collusion with Al-Qaeda

Bomb laden car attack by al-Shabab militants leave the street damaged in front of Interior Ministry in Mogadishu, Somalia on July 07, 2018 [Sadak Mohamed / Anadolu Agency]
Bomb laden car attack by Al-Shabab militants leave the street damaged in front of Interior Ministry in Mogadishu, Somalia on 7 July 2018 [Sadak Mohamed / Anadolu Agency]

Somalia has arrested some 14 security officers for alleged collusion on a deadly Al-Shabaab attack on the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior in Mogadishu over the weekend, Garowe Online reported today.

The security officers arrested were responsible for guarding the checkpoints leading to the Ministry of Interior. The Al-Shabaab group managed to disguise themselves as security officers as they stormed the government building, detonating two bombs. At least 20 people died in the attack and more than a dozen injured.

According to Garowe Online, Al-Shabaab fighters were wearing the security guard’s uniform and had identity cards which allowed them to pass through the checkpoints with some ease.

Abdiaziz Hildhiban, Somalia’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior believes the security services colluded in the killings. Somalia is currently running an inquiry, seeking answers from the security officers.

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Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab’s spokesperson claimed responsibility for the attack over the weekend. Al-Shabaab has been in an internal armed conflict with the federal government of Somalia for more than ten years. The group seeks to establish an Islamic state based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law. In 2012, the group pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda, ramping up attacks using improvised explosive devices across the capital Mogadishu and southern Somalia.

Somalia was ranked one of the lowest countries in corruption, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017 report . The country suffers from weak public institutions and instability which directly impact basic governance.

Early this year, President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo told his parliament that “it’s undeniable that there is corruption in the government committed by some of us. It’s obvious that there is a lack of trust”.

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