- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
Blast kills 2 Somali sports officials
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA— An explosion Wednesday at a ceremony at Somalia’s national theater killed at least 10 people, including two top sports officials, in an attack by an Islamist group on a site that symbolized the city’s attempt to rise from two decades of war.
The explosion at the newly reopened theater happened as Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali was standing on the podium to deliver a speech.
The prime minister was unharmed, said Abdirahman Omar Osman, the government spokesman.
The blast shattered a tentative peace that descended on Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, after fighters belonging to the Islamist group al-Shabab were pushed out in August by government and African Union troops.
The government said a female suicide bomber carried out the attack, but al-Shabab, using its official Twitter feed to take responsibility for the attack, said explosives had been planted in the theater before the event.
Sports leagues have blossomed and seaside restaurants have been setting up shop, marking a long-awaited revival of the seaside capital.
Wednesday’s ceremony - two weeks after the theater reopened - was held to mark the first anniversary of the start of a national TV station.
The blast cut chairs in half, filled the room with smoke and splattered blood across the walls.
“It was a cowardly act and that will not deter the government from performing its national duties,” Mr. Osman said. “The prime minister will energize the government to eliminate the terrorists out of the country.”
Ali Muse, the head of Mogadishu’s ambulance service, said at least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded. He said the wounded included the country’s national planning minister.
“The blast happened as musicians were singing and spectators were clapping for them,” said Salah Jimale, who was in attendance at the theater but received only scratches. “Huge smoke made the whole scene go dark. People screamed and soldiers suddenly started opening fire at the gate. Some wounded people escaped and ran away.”
The months of relative peace allowed sports leagues, restaurants and even a little night life to flourish. Despite those advances, al-Shabab has continued to carry out suicide and roadside bomb attacks, sometimes with devastating effect. In October, militants detonated a truck loaded with fuel drums at a government ministry gate, killing more than 100 people.
The revival of sports in Mogadishu is an important part of the city’s recent transformation. Women - who lived under harsh rules when al-Shabab held sway - can watch sports and even play. Al-Shabab defectors have put down their guns and are participating in sports leagues.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Robert Griffin III surprised at being benched by Mike Shanahan
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
An objective, analysis-based perspective of D.C. sports as seen through the eyes of lifelong D.C. sports enthusiast, John Heibel.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow