A United Nations vehicle was targeted by a bomb attack in northern Somalia, killing at least nine people, according to the latest reports.
Amongst the dead were 4 Unicef workers, said officials, with the organisation saying in a statement that “the IED [improvised explosive device] attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest house to the office, normally a three-minute drive.”
The victims also reportedly included an MP from Puntland, the semi-autonomous region of Somalia where the attack took place, and African Union soldiers from Kenya and Burundi.
Al-Shabab’s military operations spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters, “We are behind the Garowe attack.”
The attack has been condemned by the UN Special Representative in Somalia Nicholas Kay who said he was "shocked and appalled by [the] loss of life".
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said, "this attack is not just targeted at the United Nations, but in attacking UNICEF, al-Shabab has also attacked Somali children.” It is an attack against the future of our country and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms," Mr Mohamud continued.
Meanwhile, Ali Salad, a senior police officer in Puntland, told the Associated Press that it is “a dark day but terrorists must know that the blood they shed will not go in vain.”
“We shall deal with them with an iron hand," Salad said.