Somali police fire bullets to break up protest against bombing

Mogadishu   –        Somali police opened fire to prevent protesters demonstrating against last weekend’s deadly bombings from accessing the site of the attack, witnesses and the emergency response service said.

The witnesses heard gunfire shortly after police blocked protesters who were marching towards the scene of the twin blasts which killed more than 300 people.

Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Aamin Ambulances, said one pregnant protester was among those evacuated from the scene.

“The other two were also demonstrating.

“They were injured by bullets which the police fired to disperse the demonstrators who wanted to enter the blast scene by force,” he said.

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Police later allowed the thousands of protesters to gather at the site of the bombing.

NAN reports that government has already buried more than 150 unrecognisable bodies and locals continue to pack hospitals searching for friends and relatives caught up in Somalia’s deadliest attack in a decade.

The death toll has steadily risen since Saturday, when the blasts — for which no organisation have claimed responsibility — struck at two busy junctions in the heart of the city.

Saturday’s bomb attacks were the deadliest since Islamist militant group Al Shabaab began an insurgency in 2007.

Neither it nor any other group had claimed responsibility, but Al Shabaab, which is allied to Al Qaeda, stages regular attacks in the capital and other parts of the country.

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The group is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s UN-backed Government and its African Union allies in a bid to impose its own strict interpretation of Islam.

The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and have been steadily losing territory since then to the combined forces of African Union peacekeepers and Somali security forces.

Al-Shabaab retains the capacity to mount large, complex bomb attacks.

Over the past three years, the number of civilians killed by insurgent bombings has steadily climbed as Al Shabaab increases the size of its bombs.

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