Twenty-six captives of Somalian pirates are freed after five years. The vessel and its crew were kept off the Somali coast, until it sank. The hostages – from a number of East Asian countries – were then brought ashore and held in the bushland. They are believed to be some of the last remaining captives seized by Somali pirates in the mid-2000s. A spkesperson from Hostage Support Partnership talks about their condition.
We won’t know until I actually pick them up inside Somalia tomorrow. The guys are pretty ragged, very thin, malnourished. Several of them had to see a doctor today because they were unwell. [We don’t know if a ransom was paid] These are poor fishermen. The ship had no value, they had no insurance, and of course governments don’t want to be involved in these sort of negotiations either.
Al-Shabab attacks an African Union base at El-Ade in southwestern Somalia. A spokesman for Al-Shabab claims that the attack killed more than 63 Kenyan soldiers. A Kenyan military official stated that the rebels attacked Somali soldiers, but that Kenyan soldiers had helped to resist the attack.
A car bomb explodes at the gate of Somalia’s presidential palace, in the capital Mogadishu, killing at least seven people and injuring ten. A conference debating Somalia’s 2016 elections had just ended in the compound. Presidential guards and a Turkish national are believed to be among the dead. It is not yet known who carried out the attack but the Islamist group Al-Shabab has targeted the palace before. Government spokesman:
The majority of the dead and injured were civilians.
Police say at least ten are dead due to a suspected suicide bomber crashing into a restaurant in central Mogadishu. Al Shabaab claims responsibility.
The death toll is sure to rise. A policeman opened fire to stop the car bomb but it was all in vain. The policeman died and the car bomb rammed into the gate in the busy restaurant…These are mostly civilians who were having lunch at the restaurant
Al Shabaab militants are suspected of bombing a United Nations vehicle outside of the U.N. compound in Garowe in the Puntland region. A police officer on scene:
A blast hit the bus carrying workers to the U.N. office . . . At least nine people died.
Of the confirmed dead, two are Kenyan and seven are Somali guards. The U.N. Special Representative for Somalia condemns the attack, saying he is:
. . . shocked and appalled by loss of life.
More than ten people die, including Somali legislator Omar Ali Nor and Mogadishu’s deputy mayor Mohamed Aden, at a hotel in Mogadishu after a terrorist attack on a hotel where government officials were meeting. Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte is in hospital. A Islamic extremist rammed a vehicle containing explosive into the gate of the hotel and another extremist blew himself up. Lawmaker Mohamed Ali.
A dark day for our country
Security officials in Mogadishu convene Somali media directors and owners to issue directives on coverage of al-Shabab. They warn against interviewing and broadcasting any news related to the militant group and ask broadcasters to contact the internal security spokesman on all national security matters. The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) Secretary-General Mohamed Ibrahim:
Al-Shabab related information cannot be broadcast, does this mean that al-Shabab cannot be interviewed? Does this mean that also all the al-Shabab information will not be broadcast? And the other order – which is related to the security operations – also there is need for explanation.
He says the government is concerned about hidden messages being broadcast:
He told us they were very concerned with direct quotation that al-Shabab is giving to the local media. They said it was terrorizing the public.