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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Somalia Bombers Kill 21 Street Cleaning Women

MOGADISHU, Somalia (CNN) -- A roadside bombing in Somalia's capital killed 21 women who were cleaning rubbish from a southern Mogadishu street on Sunday morning, a hospital official said.

The bomb blast wounded another 46 people, most of them Somali women who had gathered to clean Maka Al Mukarama Road in southern Mogadishu's Kilometer 4 district, according to Medina Hospital director Dr. Dahir Dhere.

"It suddenly turned the area into a carnage, scattering body parts of the street cleaners into a large area," said witness Asha Ise Gedi. "There were pools of blood everywhere. I have never seen such mass killing."

"They were innocent poor mothers or sisters," Gedi said. "Why did they deserve this?"
It is unclear who is behind the attack.

  • Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Omar Habeb Mohamed Dhere, who was recently fired by the country's prime minister, blamed the Islamic Courts Union for waging the attack.
  • But the head of the Islamist insurgent group, Abid Rahim Ise Adow, denied any involvement and blamed Somalia's government for orchestrating the attack. \

The victims were participating in a program that allows Somali women to work as street cleaners in exchange for food. The United Nations' World Food Program organized the program, which began last year and is administered by Mogadishu's regional authority.

On Saturday, two-thirds of the Somali government ministers announced their resignations, blaming Prime Minister Nur Hassan Nur Ade's "dictatorship," which they said included his firing of Mogadishu's mayor.

Nur Ade said he suspects the mass resignations were aimed at weakening implementation of the peace agreement between Somalia's transitional government and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia.
He said he had no plans to resign.

CNN's Alan Duke and journalists Mohamed Amin Adow and Abdi

The Rest @ CNN

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