Islamist militants claimed responsibility for the bombing of a bus carrying United Nations staff that police said killed 10 people in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region.
Five foreign nationals were among the dead in Monday’s blast in the regional capital, Garowe, city police chief Ahmed Abdullahi Samatar said in remarks broadcast on Radio Risaala. The UN Children’s Fund said in an e-mailed statement that four of its staff were reportedly killed and four others seriously injured when an improvised explosive device detonated as they traveled between a guest house and their office.
The bombing was an attack on “the enemy of Islam,” the al-Shabaab militant group said in a statement read on Radio Andalus, a broadcaster that supports the insurgents.
Puntland has avoided some of the worst violence from the al-Qaeda-linked group, which has waged an insurgency in the Horn of Africa nation since 2006 in its bid to impose Shariah, or Islamic law.
While al-Shabaab has in recent years lost territory to a UN-backed African Union peacekeeping mission in the country, it continues to stage deadly gun and grenade attacks in Somalia and in neighboring troop-contributing countries.
The group also claimed responsibility for an attack last week on Somalia’s Higher Education Ministry in the capital, Mogadishu, that left 17 people dead. Al-Shabaab raided a university in the eastern Kenyan town of Garissa on April 2, killing at least 147 people, most of them students.