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Somalia: Extremists step up Ramadan offensive

31 July 2013

Somali and international leaders have condemned a suicide attack on 27 July at a compound housing Turkish embassy staff in Somalia. Two people were killed and many wounded. Somali rebel group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in which three al Shabaab militants were also killed.

Just prior to the attack al-Shabaab posted a series of Twitter messages to announce a 'Ramadan Offensive'. The group claimed in the first half of the fast its fighters carried out over 100 attacks mostly in and around the capital Mogadishu. This included 57 explosions and grenade attacks, 41 direct confrontations and ambushes, nine targeted assassinations and a suicide attack against an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy in Mogadishu on 12 July in which they claim to have wounded American intelligence officials.

The government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, which was installed in 2012 with the support of the international community, has been struggling to wrest full control out of the hands of al Shabaab, who continue to hold pockets of regions mainly in the South. The President has reiterated his call for al Shabaab fighters to cease fighting and accept the amnesty the government has offered.

An Open Doors worker urged upon Christians everywhere to support their brothers and sisters in Somalia. "Although al Shabaab threatens the society in general, these secret Christians are at particular risk. During Ramadan they face additional pressures not only from al Shabaab but from the society in general as zealous Muslims spy on neighbours to see committed they are to the fast.

Source: Open Doors, Sabahi, AFP

Please pray:

  1. Peace to come to Somalia
  2. God would protect the handful of secret indigenous Christians inside the country
  3. God will be at work in the lives of the Somali people and that many will come to Him in faith.

Find out more about persecution in Somalia.