IS claims first suicide attack in Somalia, kills 5
Mogadishu, Somalia | AFP | The Islamic State group has claimed its first suicide attack in Somalia, which police said Wednesday killed five people at a checkpoint in the northeastern port city of Bosaso.
The group’s self-styled news agency Amaq claimed the “martyrdom-seeking operation with an explosive vest” in a statement carried by the SITE Intelligence Group.
The suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest at a checkpoint late Tuesday in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.
“Security forces stopped the suspect when he approached but he detonated himself leaving five people dead. One of the security officers and four civilians were killed in the blast,” said local police official Mohamed Dahir Adan.
The blast occurred near a hotel often used as a meeting place for local officials, witnesses said.
“I think the bomber was trying to target the hotel but he was stopped at the checkpoint close to the hotel and he decided to detonate his explosives,” said witness Awke Mohamed.
Puntland set up its own government in 1998, but, unlike neighbouring Somaliland, it has not declared full independence.
The region has often come under attack by Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants, and is also home to a breakaway group of fighters which declared allegiance to IS last year but has failed to gather much support so far.
The militants are led by former Shabaab cleric Abdiqadir Mumin who was placed on a US terror list last August for his role at the head of IS in East Afric
Manchester bomber was ‘likely’ acting with others: minister
The attack on a Manchester pop concert that killed 22 people was “likely” the work of more than one person, British interior minister Amber Rudd said Wednesday.
“It was a devastating occasion, it was more sophisticated than some of the attacks we’ve seen before, and it seems likely — possible — that he wasn’t doing this on his own,” she told BBC radio.
Britain raises terror threat level after IS connection to concert carnage
Britain prepared to deploy soldiers at key sites on Wednesday, having raised its terror threat level to maximum after a suicide bomber massacred 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester.
Addressing the nation from her Downing Street office, Prime Minister Theresa May warned late Tuesday that a new attack “may be imminent” and there was a possibility of “a wider group of individuals linked to this attack”.
May said the threat level was being raised from severe to critical on the recommendation of the intelligence services and she was activating a plan for armed military personnel to assist police.
Her dramatic statement came after 22-year-old Salman Abedi, a Briton of Libyan descent, was identified as the perpetrator behind Monday’s deadly attack at a concert by teen idol Ariana Grande.
The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for the carnage, which was condemned by world leaders including US President Donald Trump, who branded people carrying out atrocities “evil losers”.
Police said soldiers would initially be on guard duties at fixed points and could also be sent to patrol transport hubs, concerts and sports events.
The plan, which has never before been used and is codenamed Operation Temperer, was first revealed after the November 2015 Paris terror attacks and is believed to allow up to 5,000 troops to be deployed.
– ‘Caliphate soldier’ –
British media said Abedi was born in Manchester, northwest England, and that his Libyan parents had fled the regime of dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
Police staged an armed raid on a Manchester address believed to be where Abedi lived, carrying out a controlled explosion to gain entry after arresting a 23-year-old man earlier Tuesday as part of the investigation.
Abedi was reported to be a former business student who dropped out of university and turned to radical Islam.