On Monday, Al Shabaab gunmen along with a suicide car bomber attacked a religious center in central Somalia. Officials claimed that the assault resulted in the death of cleric along with his 14 followers. The Islamist militant group, Al Shabaab had charged the cleric for insulting Prophet Mohamed. However, the cleric denied the allegation. Even though the militants’ group was driven out from Mogadishu in 2011 and also from most towns and cities; however, it maintains a powerful presence outside the capital and initiates recurrent bombings and other assaults in their fight to overturn the federal government.
Captain Nur Mohamed, a police officer, briefed that the Al Shabaab killed 15 people which comprise of the cleric, his wife, his followers as well as his guards. He added that the three fighters who carried the attack on the center were shot dead.
The militant group took accountability for the assault and paced the number of dead people to 26. A spokesperson of Al Shabaab’s military operation, Abdiasis Abu Musab, stated that the militant group has killed 26 people along with the center owner, his followers, bodyguards, and soldiers. Abdiasis stated that the owner of the center insulted the prophet. He added that the soldiers died while they tried to get rid of the second car bomb. Even a regional officer along with residents of Galkayo stated that Abdiweli, President of Puntland might have also been aimed at his center houses many youths that play music and also dance. Last year, Al Shabaab stated that the cleric had insulted the Prophet, the charge which was dismissed by Abdiweli.
Abdirashid Hashi, the governor of Mudug region, cited that Al Shabaab had warned Abdiweli on numerous instances. Even an elderly person told that Abdiweli had offered free boarding to former pirates; street boys; and jobless people in lieu of becoming followers. Some even thought Abdiweli as a saint. However, even after doing wrong and being powerful, no one could produce him in court. Al Shabaab is controlling small sections on Mudug region; however, it does not include Galkayo.