“…in an effort to implement a stricter form of Islamic law in the country.”
Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) — Blood and body parts littered the ground outside Turkey’s embassy in Somalia on Saturday afternoon, the grisly result of a blast that police said left six dead and nine wounded.
A minivan packed with explosives went off around 5 p.m. in the heart of Mogadishu, just a few meters from the Turkish diplomatic post, said police Col. Ahmed Mohamud.
When it was over, two Somali security guards, a university student and three attackers were dead, according to Mohamud.
Turkish embassy sources said that two of its staff members were among the wounded….
Al-Shabaab — a militant Islamist group with connections to al Qaeda — claimed responsibility for the attack.
“We are behind the martyrdom explosion,” the group claimed via Twitter. “The Turkish were our main target.”…
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud similarly blasted what he called “an act of cowardly desperation by terrorists” against one of his nation’s “most determined and dependable allies.” He lauded Turks’ “tireless efforts” over the past two years to help build new schools and hospitals, among other contributions.
“I condemn this criminal act of terrorism and my government and security forces will do everything it can to catch those who planned and directed it,” Hassan said….
Saturday’s bombing was the second major attack in Mogadishu in a few days: On Wednesday, at least one person died in the capital after a bomb hidden in a lawmaker’s car blew up.
The targeted member of Parliament, Sheikh Adan Mader, and other lawmakers were out of the car when the blast occurred and were unharmed, police said.
Designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government in 2008, al-Shabaab has waged a war with Somali’s government in an effort to implement a stricter form of Islamic law in the country….