Somalia: Turkish National Killed in New Year’s Day Gun Attack
The New Year has kicked off with familiar violence in Somalia after another Turkish national was murdered in the capital Mogadishu on New Year’s Day.
Two people were reportedly killed in the attack – one believed to be a Turkish engineer and the other a 5-year-old Somali girl who was playing outside her home at the time.
Suspected Al-Shabaab attack
No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack, although militant group Al-Shabaab will top the list of suspects. The Islamist radicals have claimed responsibility for similar attacks on internationals, aid workers and government officials in the country’s capital over recent years.
The group of Turkish internationals targetted in the attack are believed to be non-governmental aid workers that offer humanitarian support in Mogadishu. It’s not the first time aid workers or Turkish diplomats have been targeted in the city – in fact, 2015 was marred by similar attacks carried out by Al-Shabaab gunmen.
A bloody start to 2016
The New Year’s Day attack comes less than two weeks after an intelligence officer and bank worker were shot in broad daylight on December 21. Before that, a UN official was killed in the capital on December 14, only two days after a police officer was killed by unidentified gunmen in the city.
The December attacks largely sum up the current state of national security in Somalia. Mogadishu has been victim to regular car bombings, assassinations and drive-by shootings since the Al-Shabaab was forced out of the city four years ago. Somalia and Kenya have been locked in a fierce battle with the Islamist group for years and, despite largely pushing them back to remote sections of Somalia, attacks became increasingly frequent towards the end of 2015.
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