Somalia detains 3 over Mogadishu attack

Somalia detains 3 over Mogadishu attack
# 23 August 2013 04:18 (UTC +04:00)

"So far three people who are confirmed to have been involved in that failed operation, which was a kidnap attempt, have been captured and detained for further interrogation," said government spokesman Ridwan Xaji Abdiwali on Thursday.

"The security forces are searching for two others who are believed to be the masterminds behind the attack," Abdiwali added.

The attack occurred on Wednesday in a busy area in central Mogadishu near the Turkish Embassy, after the gunmen ambushed a car carrying the Swedish politician known as Ann-Margarethe Livh, group leader of the Left Party in Stockholm city council.

Following the attack, Swedish Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Lena Tranberg issued a statement saying preparations were under way to transfer the women to a hospital in Kenya.

No group has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, but the Somali officials lay the blame on local al-Shabab fighters who have carried out similar assaults in the past.

In June, 15 people were killed in an attack on the main UN compound in Mogadishu.

Following the attack, a senior al-Shabab official said, “Our commandos have attacked the UN compound ... we set off an explosion and have entered the compound.”

The Somali capital has been the scene of frequent attacks since the fighters were driven out of the city two years ago.

The al-Shabab group has vowed to topple President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who took office in September 2012 after being chosen by the country's parliament.

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