MOGADISHU—An opposition leader in Somalia has rubbished claim by the country’s spy agency that an unnamed foreign country was behind the deadly Saturday car blast at a busy intersection in Mogadishu.
The leader of the Wadajir Party, Abdirahman Abdishakur termed the claim a “cover-up” hours after the National Intelligence and security Service of Somalia (NISA) said It briefed the President and the Prime Minister about a preliminary report pointing at involvement by a foreign country in planning, planting and the execution of the blast that killed over 75 people and injured at least 150 people.
“For the NISA to claim that a foreign country was behind the ex-control Afgoye attack, in which Al-Shabab terrorist massacred 100 people doesn’t only mislead the public and cover up the agency’s failure, but it also diverts blame from the terrorist. This is a clear cooperation with Al Shabab,” Abdirahman Abdishakur said.
The Somali opposition figure has previously accused the President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s of working with the most dangerous armed group in Africa.
Earlier, National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), through its Twitter handle, said unnamed country was behind the attack which claimed more than 75 people when it went off at Ex-control Afgoye during the morning rush hour on Saturday. Over 32 university students, soldiers, pedestrians and Turkish nationals died in the blast.
“We shared with national leaders a preliminary report pointing to foreign nation’s involvement of the Saturday massacre. We will team up with other international agencies in our further probe,” NISA said on its Twitter handle.
The attack, one of several this year in Mogadishu, fueled concerns about the abilities of the Somali government to respond to the rise of mass-casualty attacks coming when the Amisom troops are planning to move out of the country by May next year.
Abdihakim Ainte of the Heritage Institute said the “politicization of security and lack of comprehensive security plan” is to blame for the continued attacks on the civilian population.
“This attacks serve as litmus test for Shabab on whether the local security forces can stop the massacre,” Ainte told VOA Somali.
This year alone it has targeted a shopping mall, the city mayor’s office and high-end hotels. Saturday’s bomb came two weeks after a hours-long hotel siege in which five people were killed.