Two Attacks Before Election in Somalia Kills 15, Injures Dozens

At least 15 people have been killed in Somalia and more than 30 others injured in the two attacks. The incident occurred ahead of indirect parliamentary elections which are in their final stages.

In the city of Beledwyne, a suicide bomber entered a restaurant and blew himself up. At least 13 people were killed and 18 injured, according to health and security officials.

Many local officials and politicians were in the restaurant when the explosion occurred.

Witnesses said Deputy District Commissioner Beledweyne said Abdirahman Kaynan was among the dead. A member of the regional parliament was among the injured and is in critical condition.

The attack was claimed by the militant group al-Shabab. The incident occurred the night before the first round of the 25-seat parliamentary election in Beledweyne.

Among the candidates vying for the seat is Fahad Yasin, the country’s former intelligence chief and the president’s national security adviser. Yasin arrived in Beledweyne a few hours after the deadly explosion. He is considered the most influential and popular figure in the country.

Meanwhile, in Bossaso City, a homemade bomb exploded in a tea shop. The incident killed two civilians and injured 13 others, including several soldiers. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. And security officials told VOA they are investigating the incident.

The city of Bossaso is about to hold the first round of elections for the 15-seat parliament.

Indirect elections in Somalia are scheduled to end on February 25. [vm/ft]