The five synchronised car bomb blasts (al-Qaeda type timing) killed some 25 people in Hargeisa and another three in Bosasso. No group immediately claimed responsibility. But in recent months, Islamist insurgents (al-Shabaab) fighting Somalia's Western-backed interim government and its Ethiopian allies have launched attacks to coincide with international efforts to end turmoil in the lawless Horn of Africa nation.
The bombers hit as leaders of the interim government met regional heads of state for talks in Nairobi. The four-year-old administration is under pressure to solve the chaos and share some power with moderate opposition figures. Washington, and its closest ally in the region Ethiopia, say Somalia's Islamists (Al-Shabaab) are linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.
"It is the work of the usual terrorists (Al-Shabaab) who try to create instability. I assure you they will not be left to get away with it. They will be brought to justice," Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin told reporters at the meeting. In Hargeisa, in the breakaway Somaliland region, witnesses said three bombers attacked the president's office, a U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) compound and the Ethiopian embassy.
Journalist Ali Jama Mohamed was walking past the presidency when a car crashed into its doors. "There was a big explosion and I saw many people, mostly pedestrians and some security guards, thrown to the floor.
"BLOWN TO PIECES"
In Bosasso, in neighbouring semi-autonomous Puntland, two suicide bombers detonated explosives-laden cars inside the Intelligence Service compound, killing two soldiers and a woman and wounding several other people.
"The two cars and their drivers were blown to pieces," Muse Gelle, the governor of Bari region, told Reuters. "It is too early to know all the casualties. Tensions are high and Puntland soldiers have surrounded all government institutions."
Puntland and Somaliland had been relatively quiet compared to southern Somalia, where the government and its Ethiopian military allies have been battling (AL-SHABAAB) rebels waging a campaign of roadside bombs, artillery strikes and assassinations.
When government officials and some opposition figures signed a peace pact at U.N.-led negotiations in Djibouti in August, hardline al Shabaab insurgents seized the strategic southern port of Kismayu in fighting that killed at least 70 people.
The Al- Shabaab have since consolidated their control of the area, and on Monday they stoned to death a 23-year-old woman accused of adultery -- the first such public killing by the Islamists for about two years.
AL-SHABAAB WEBSITE IN VANCOUVER WA.
The Columbian Newspaper; In our view: Internet censor (Bill Warner)Wednesday, May 07, 2008; A Florida man’s heart might be in the right place, but he is misguided in his bid to get a Vancouver Internet service company to drop a Somali-language Web site (Al-Shabaab terrorists).
Bill Warner, a Sarasota private investigator (www.wbipi.com ), wants Dotster Inc. of Vancouver to refuse service to kataaib.net . Warner, who has launched similar purge efforts in other cities with other Internet companies, says kataaib.net supports an al-Qaida organization in Somalia, the Al-shabaab where war and genocide are tragic facts of daily life (THEY ARE AN AL-QAIDA ORGANIZATION SEE LA TIMES ARTICLE).
After once denying or downplaying links to the terrorist network, a senior leader of Somalia's most notorious Islamic militia, al-Shabaab, now acknowledges that his group has long-standing ties to Al Qaeda and says he is seeking to forge a closer relationship."We are negotiating how we can unite into one," said Muktar Robow, a top military commander of al-Shabaab, which the U.S. State Department designated a terrorist organization this year.
"We will take our orders from Sheik Osama bin Laden because we are his students."Merging with Al Qaeda operatives in the region makes sense, he said, given the recent U.S. crackdown, including a May 1 airstrike that killed ShabaAb's previous commander. "Al Qaeda is the mother of the holy war in Somalia," he said. "Most of our leaders were trained in Al Qaeda camps. We get our tactics and guidelines from them. Many have spent time with Osama bin Laden."
“There are groups like this one that associate with al-Qaida through Web sites that help promote the ideology, help find new recruits and help the effort to support terrorism,” Warner said in a Tuesday Columbian story by Courtney Sherwood. “It’s not freedom of speech. This site should not be hosted in Vancouver WA, USA". The Al-Shabaab are murdering savages under the control of Al-Qaeda and they openly run a website in Vancouver WA, USA.