Somalia (ODM) — Somali and international leaders condemned the July 27 suicide attack at a compound housing Turkish embassy staff in the Hodan district of Mogadishu.
The attack killed a Turkish guard and a Somali bystander while wounding others, according to Open Doors USA.
Somali rebel group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in which a car laden with explosives crashed into the gates of the Turkish residence. Three al Shabaab militants, including the car bomber, were also killed.
Just prior to the attack, al-Shabaab promised in a series of Twitter messages to step up what they called their “Ramadan Offensive” in the second half of the Muslim month of fasting that ends August 7.
“Ramadan is a month of Jihad and sacrifice. It’s time for observing the most righteous deeds & offering gratitude to Allah for His blessings,” one message said. “And what better way to observe Ramadan and offer gratitude to Allah than striking the necks of the invaders and destroying their might!”
The group said in the first half of the fast its fighters carried out over 100 attacks, mostly in and around the capital Mogadishu. These allegedly included 57 explosions and grenade attacks, 41 direct confrontations and ambushes, nine targeted assassinations and a suicide attack against an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy in Mogadishu on July 12 in which they claim to have wounded American intelligence officials.
“Please remember to pray for the handful of secret Christians in Somalia,” said an Open Doors worker. “Although al-Shabaab threatens the society in general, these secret Christians are at particular risk. During Ramadan they face additional pressures not only from al-Shabaab but from the society in general as zealous Muslims spy on neighbors to see what level of participation they have to the Ramadan fast. Being suspected of leaving the Islamic fold has dire consequences. It is our prayer that in the midst of these challenges, God will be at work in the lives of Somali people and that many will come to Him in faith. We pray that God will establish in Somalia a strong and vibrant testimony for Him.”