Attack claims soccer fans in Somalia

Published Jul 8, 2010


Mogadishu - A grenade ripped through a Mogadishu house where people were watching the Spain-Germany World Cup semifinal, killing two, witnesses said on Thursday.

The grenade exploded in the last minute of the game on Wednesday night, neighbour Mohamed Adan told AFP.

"The explosion occurred as the young men were watching the game between Spain and Germany. One died on the spot and another a bit later from his injuries," said the neighbour.

The grenade was hurled into the house in Elashabiyaha, near the Somali capital where tens of thousands of displaced Somalis live, moments after a blast struck a nearby police station controlled by the Hezb al-Islam group.

"We don't know who targeted the football fans but the explosion took place just 20 minutes after another explosion followed by a brief exchange of fire at a police station," Abdullahi Hasan Islo, another resident, said.

Idris Hussein, another witness, said three people were also wounded.

A local leader for Hezb al-Islam, the Islamist insurgent group that controls the area, confirmed the attack.

"We know that attacks occurred last night in Elashabiyaha and one of them targeted civilians who were watching the football but I don't have more details at the moment," the Hezb al-Islam official said on condition of anonymity.

Hezb al-Islam and its Al Qaeda-inspired insurgency allies from the Shebab movement have banned Somalis in the areas they control from gathering to watch the football World Cup, an activity they deem "un-Islamic". - Sapa-AFP

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