December 20 (Bloomberg) – The death toll from a suicide bombing aimed at Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Roble has increased to 14.
Among those killed in the explosion were members of the prime minister’s security team and top army officials, including the commander of the 21st Division of the Somali National Army, according to Somali police officer Nour Hersi. Ten people died on the scene, while four others later succumbed to their wounds, he said.
A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance gate of a stadium in the city of Galkayo on Friday, where Roble was expected to speak about the upcoming presidential election. The Islamist extremist group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a broadcast on Radio Andalus, which supports the militant group.
The Al-Qaeda-linked militants have waged an insurgency in Somalia since 2006 in a bid to impose their version of Islamic law. Al-Shabab continues to carry out suicide bombings and other attacks in the Horn of Africa country ahead of elections scheduled for early next year.
U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month ordered most U.S. forces to leave Somalia by early 2021. About 700 U.S. troops are in Somalia on what is largely a counter-terrorism mission.
The regional commander of an elite U.S.-trained force that has helped build up Somalia’s weak security forces and his deputy also died in the attack, the New York Times reported.