Somali Sports Officials Killed In Theatre Bombing


Somalia's Olympic committee and football heads are among 10 people killed in a suicide blast in Mogadishu.

Somali PM Abdiweli Mohamed Ali was also present when the attacker struck the newly re-opened national theatre, but he told the BBC he was unhurt.

Al-Shabab militants say they carried out the bombing.


The theatre closed in the early 1990s as Somalia descended into civil war and was only reopened last month, amid a new period of relative optimism.

The President of the Somali Olympic Committee, Aden Yabarow Wiish, and the Somali Football Federation chief, Said Mohamed Nur, were among a group of dignitaries who had gathered to mark the first anniversary of the launch of Somalia's national television station.

Sources have told the BBC Somali Service that three Somali television journalists were also wounded in the blast.

Musical event

The prime minister told the BBC that the attacker was a woman.

Eyewitnesses say the attack came in the middle of a musical performance.

"The blast happened as musicians were singing and spectators were clapping for them," Salah Jimale told the AP news agency. "Smoke made everything go dark. People screamed and soldiers suddenly started opening fire at the gate."

Reporters at the scene say dozens of people were hurt, and have described seeing shoes and bloody mobile phones lying on the floor, and chairs cut in half by the force of the blast.

Al-Shabab militants who had controlled large parts of the country, including Mogadishu, were pushed out of the city by troops from the African Union last year.

Since then, there has been a period of relative quiet, with sporting activity resuming, restaurants opening, and the re-opening of the National Theatre.

But al-Shabab has continued to attack the capital with bombs and mortars. 

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