NEWS– A top Somali Police official and several of his guards were last evening killed in a roadside bomb blast near the southern town of Balad.
According to Somali authorities, the attack involved a landmine that targeted Mogadishu Police Commissioner Farhan Mohamoud Adan, better known as “Qarole,” near the Balad district, 35 kms north of Mogadishu.
“The police commissioner stepped out of his bulletproof vehicle as he was visiting a government military post and then a landmine apparently planted there went off, killing the commissioner and an unidentified number of Police officers accompanying him,” a government official who requested anonymity said.
They will be remembered for their role in Somalia’s anti-al-Shabab operations.”
Somali Police Major Sadiq Aden Ali-Doodishe, who spoke to reporters after the blast, confirmed the incident, but he could not provide further details about the nature of the blast or the number of casualties.
Ali-Doodishe said the attack occurred during security operations targeting the Basra village area on the border of the Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.
“The commissioner was in the middle of a successful operation that flushed out terrorists from these areas when he was targeted by a blast,” the Police Spokesman said and added, “We ask God to have mercy on the martyrs who died, and may God bless those who were injured.”
Ali-Doodishe added that such attacks would never deter Somali soldiers in their fight against terrorism. “Terrorism is a threat to life. We will never be diverted from our goal of ensuring the security of the country and the elimination of terrorism,” he said.
Authorities blamed the al-Qaida-linked Islamist group al-Shabab for the attack, though no one had yet claimed responsibility.
Additional Reporting from the Aljazeera News.