Somali police forces have apprehended a police officer in connection with a suicide truck bombing that targeted a security checkpoint.
The attack claimed the lives of at least 36 people, leaving 40 others wounded and causing widespread destruction.
The Beledweyne police commander, Ahmed Ali Adan, revealed to local media on Tuesday that the arrested officer was directly responsible for the security checkpoint where the car bomb managed to pass undetected.
While the officer has been taken into custody, authorities are actively pursuing other individuals believed to be involved in the planning and execution of this heinous act. However, the commander did not disclose any further details regarding the ongoing investigation.
Eyewitnesses recounted the horrifying events that unfolded on the day of the attack. A truck laden with explosive devices forcefully breached the government-manned checkpoint, making its way towards a taxation and security checkpoint located at the former beverages factory building known as Horseed.
As the truck advanced, a pickup vehicle belonging to security personnel valiantly gave chase in an attempt to thwart the impending disaster. Tragically, in a blinding explosion, the car bomb detonated, leaving a trail of devastation and loss in its wake.
The aftermath of this appalling act has garnered swift and resolute condemnation from Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as well as the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
Both entities expressed their deep sorrow and solidarity with the victims and their families, vowing to take decisive action against the perpetrators of this senseless violence.
In response to the president’s resolute stance, al-Shabaab has faced significant setbacks, losing substantial territories in central regions, including the long-held coastal town of Haradhere, which had been under the militants’ control for over a decade.